For my nine-year-old niece, cabled legwarmers. I used this Japanese chart (link is to the PDF) and Red Heart Super Tweed in Landshark, so they'd be easy-care. The chart was easy to follow and memorize. I was very happy with how relatively quickly they knitted up, since I was working on them at the last minute -- as always.
The child's size fit her perfectly, even with boot-cut jeans stuffed into them. I was afraid the yarn might not have been a girly enough choice for her, since she's much more into glam and glitter than I am, but she told me she was never going to take them off. That's the way to a knitting auntie's heart for sure!
And for a friend, a Star Crossed Slouchy Beret. I've knit this before, two years ago when I made red hats for whole family for our annual photo shoot. In a weekend. A long weekend, but still, that was insane.