I found a superfast (like 30 minutes or less) project that would make a great last-minute gift for any crafter in your life--a knitted cover for your tape measure! I received one in a swap last winter, and I've treasured it. So when I found a free pattern I cast on right away! This project forced me to learn a new skill--the Turkish cast on. It was surprisingly easy and less fiddly than I expected. It's a two-sided cast-on that you could use for something like toe-up socks or the ever-popular hexagon blankets. So now I'm motivated to actually try a pattern in one of my toe-up socks books! This pattern used up a tiny amount of yarn, so this would be a great pattern to use up leftover scraps.
Pattern: I've Got You Covered by Shelley Kuecks (link to my Ravelry project page)
Yarn: Hobby Lobby I Love this Wool! Ombres (used less than 10 yards, easily)
Needles: Size 6 Knit Picks Harmony, with 40 inch cable for magic loop
Mods: Skipped the rest rows in between each decrease row at the top of the cover.