My friend Maggie housesits for me on occasion, and this last time, I told her to pick out a pattern on Ravelry for me to knit for her as payment. I must admit that I was a little apprehensive when she picked the Lovebug Booties by Carrie Bostick Hoge on Ravelry because I usually don't love knitting tiny things...or stripes...or on double-pointed needles (triple fail, right?). I wouldn't be deterred though. I started out trying to finagle these babies using the magic loop technique. I found it to be very cumbersome. Ultimately, I sucked it up and went with the DPNs. And interestingly, I loved it. I think this project may have ended my aversion to all three previously mentioned nemeses!
In fact, these might just become my go-to gift for friends having babies. They're easy, inexpensive (but only if you make multiple pairs out of the same two or three skeins of yarn) and fast - so fast you could probably make both the Hospital Hat and the booties in a couple evenings.
To create a cute gift box, I stuffed the booties with tissue paper and put them in a box I found at Xpedx. I also got the cardmaking supplies there, and I used Japan and Tw Cen MT fonts (both free - click those links) to create a thoughtful insert with personalized care instructions. From what I hear, they were a complete hit at their intended's shower!