A Knitting Board Set to Double Knit
There are two kinds of knitting boards generally available - the Knifty Knitter by Provo Craft (http://www.provocraft.com) and the Knitting Board (www.knittingboard.com). The one shown here is one of several Provo Craft models. Each company sells several board types and sizes. Provo Craft has a round one designed to knit hats, and Knitting Board, which specializes in fine gauge knitting, offers a special sock knitter.
Many experienced knitters rather disdain these boards, but they are fun and useful for people just getting started. The idea of winding yarn around pegs to create cloth is a very old one. Queen Mary of England, wife of George V, taught her daughter and two sons (the future Duke of Windsor and George VI) how to do this kind of knitting. Growing up, they spent their afternoons in her sitting room making scarves for the poor, which she sent off to one of her charities. - Like I said, this is something anybody can do.
Knitting Board provides patterns you can use to make many items, sewing individual pieces together with an invisible stitch. The Knifty Knitter comes with instructions on how to create a really beautiful pattern for scarves. Both types of boards can be used for different types of knit.
The one thing you can do with these boards that you can't do with needles is double knit, like the example shown above. This produces a very thick, smooth texture. It's just the thing if you want your loved one to be extra warm. It can also be used with heavy acrylics or cotton yarn to make a nice, washable bathmat. Or you can make a pad to set hot dishes on.
These boards are great for beginners who want to make something really useful.