If you get a thrill from instant gratification, consider a lace cap. They look like you spent some time on them, even though they only take a couple of hours to complete.
Yesterday's chilling wind reminded me that I didn't have a hat; some bargain chunky yarn at Jo-Ann's and about two hours of my time; problem solved! This hat was made using the Foliage pattern by Emilee Mooney, which was published in Knitty. If you've never been to knitty.com, it's a great online magazine with tons of free patterns!
I loved that there were instructions for both bulky and medium weight yarns for this hat. I wore it out during our errands this morning, and my head was oh-so-greatful! Knit in a top-down construction, I wasn't sure how it would all come together, but I really like it. I'll definitely use this pattern again.