I didn't make as many things for others as I have done in the past - I thought I had plans for Christmas well in hand early, and then realised there was actually hardly any time left. Oops. I did make a couple of quick projects though: a cowl and mitts for my dad, and mitts for my friend, all of which are pretty simple, so not a huge amount to write about them.
The cowl is simply a tube knitted in the round in twisted stocking stitch (alternate rounds of k into back of loop and k as normal), with three rows of k1 p1 rib at each end. I used one ball of Rico Creative Bonbon super chunky. I chose this lovely variegated purply colourway (that was also half price in pre-Christmas sales...) as I thought it's vaguely masculine without being boring black or navy, and also would look good against his grey and blond colouring.
The mitts are coordinating but intentionally not matching, as I didn't think he'd appreciate a full on matchy-matchy look! I used this pattern, but since I was using a different wool (Lang Merino 70 Superwash), I needed to adjust stitch counts etc to resize it. My notes on these changes are here. I also made them shorter at both wrist and "finger"-length, as I intended them for him to use whilst working at the computer and didn't want them to get in the way. The photos here are actually taken by my dad, as I forgot to take any photos before wrapping them up!
The mitts for my friend are based on Café au lait. She's has two young children and also works as a childminder, so I thought they would be more practical with a st st palm, and I also altered them to make them symmetrical (full details of my changes are here).
I used a non-wool yarn (Lang Omega) as she has eczema, and also to make them easier to care for (I doubt she has time to faff around hand-washing stuff).
The colour is really hard to photograph, it's actually much richer, more jewel-like in real life. I bought two balls just in case (and they were also in the pre-Christmas sale...) but they took less than one, so I'm thinking I might make myself a pair too!