Speaking of Vickie Howell, she released a new book in the fall while I was in my own book-writing stupor (yeah, so, expect a lot more book reviews from me in the coming weeks because I've got a huge stockpile now!) called Step it Up Knits. It's a very cool concept, all about getting newer knitters -- or knitters who've been knitting for a while but maybe haven't progressed much in terms of the skill level of projects they choose -- to try new techniques on quick-knitting accessories projects they'll love to wear and use or give as gifts.
The 25 patterns include projects for men, women and kids (oh, the kids' things are my favorite! I think my girl is going to need a knit cape pretty soon), many of which use Howell's yarn, Sheep(ish). Of course that yarn is a pretty standard medium weight yarn, so substitution with whatever you have in your stash is always a possibility, too.
This book is a lot of fun and would be a great gift for that friend in your knitting circle who has knit nothing but scarves. Or if that person is you, grab a copy and you'll be able to knit fun gifts for your friends and family using all the skill you'll learn right in the book.
Have you checked out Step it Up Knits? I'd love to hear your thoughts.