I learned how to knit a little over two years ago now, at my LYS (local yarn store for those of you non-knitters, who I will now try to convert!) Our instructor first taught us the basics of knitting, such as casting on and the Knit and Purl stitches. If you know just knit and purl, you can combine those two stitches for thousands of variations. Each class we focused on a few different "swatches" of different sorts of knitting stitches; ribbing, basketweave, feather and fan, seed stitch just to name a few, and eventually onto cables. We compiled all of our tiny stitch swatches into a book, for reference.
I came across this tutorial for making swatch bangles awhile back, and couldn't help but thinking of what a great project it would be for a beginner knitter, or someone who's never knit before. Instead of hoarding those swatches in a book, or stitching them together to make an afghan... Try a bangle! This is also a great idea for destashing those bits of yarn leftover from other projects, as it doesn't require a lot of yardage.
Mine are made from recycled duct tape rolls! They come in a few different sizes, so you can have different thicknesses. One thing to keep in mind, depending on your wrist/hand size, you don't want to use *too* bulky of a yarn, otherwise you might not be able to fit it over your hand. My mom has rather large hands, and can't quite slide it over her knuckles. For these I used a ball of Lion Brand Vanna's Choice which I had lying around, you can easily pick up a ball for yourself at Michaels or Joanne's. The top one is made in seed stitch, (k1, p1), and the bottom is a cabled piece. The nice thing is, the bracelets look nice in just about any stitch, and would be a great way to learn cabeling!