I actually made the obligatory garter stitch scarf when I was 12 (it was an orange and brown variegated worsted with white fringe, woohoo!) but this winter I revisited scarves because my family wanted some.
I made three variations on a k2p2 rib-knit scarf for me and the kids...
then I made a 100% wool scarf, knit in garter stitch, yes, but horizontally on very long, large circular needles, for a friend's winter birthday. Shown here with the obligatory cat.
Note: Since I'm still learning different techniques I don't often splurge on expensive yarn. I came across a blog somewhere that talked about salvaging yarn from thrift stores and even unraveling old sweaters, so I decided that many of my small, beginner projects would have the added feel-goodness of being recycled.