Time is getting shorter for making gifts, so let's focus on projects that are either smaller, or use slightly thicker yarn and larger needles.
If you haven't guessed by now, Team Babs is also Team Cowl. Cowls pack such a punch--they can be fancy with colorwork, or cozy and double-wrapped--either way cowls make a great gift project.
This fall we introduced our Toe Trios at Rhinebeck (and later, SAFF) specifically for Helen Cosgrove-Davies Backsplash Cowl, Michael Harrigan's Berries, Leaves, and Vines, and Stephanie Lotven's Floral Fade. They were so popular we've added them to our website, so you can take advantage of a curated color story for your project.
While each of these is knit on needles appropriate for fingering-weight yarn, they are bite-size (compared to a shawl or sweater), and none involves overly-complicated stitchwork (even the colorwork is very doable)!
Another option for neckwear is a slightly longer/bigger cowl. We love using Yowza Mini Trios as they offer so much flexibility with design and color. Both Andrea Mowry's The Shift cowl and Robynn Weldon's Penmarric Cowl use Yowza Mini Trios, and couldn't be more different!
If you're determined to make a shawl, we recommend Ultiflex--this versatile pattern offers ultimate flexibility in yarn choice and yardage, endless knit-ability in garter, and a fun drop-stitch pattern, and you can easily use either a variegated or monochromatic colorway in Yowza.
Hopefully these projects inspire you--and if you need even more, we encourage you to peruse our Ravelry bundles.