Lynn has come up with a new pattern that I am really enjoying. She calls it simply the "One-Day Neckwarmer', but mine took only an evening to make. The knitting is soothing, but not at all boring, the color possibilities are endless, and the gift-giving potential HUGE. (take a gander at all the colors in the Ravelry Projects)
If you adjust the needle size and yarn, and choose different colors, it could be made for men as well as women.
Although I don't like things close about my neck, the fabric of this is so very soft I might make one for me, too. The beauty of her design is there is no floppiness, just a gentle drape. It really does warm your neck all the way around without having to arrange scarf ends. As far as gift giving, it takes very little yarn and can be made from leftovers in your stash, and still make a wonderfully meaningful gift your friend can use every even slightly chilly day.
(photo above copyright Lynn DT Hershberger)