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One of the things you tend to load up on as a knitter is notions. Scissors, tape measures, stitch markers, etc. If you know someone just starting out with knitting, you might want to consider getting them a Knit Kit.
The Knit Kit is an oval shaped container of knitting goodies. It has a built in row counter, 5 foot tape measure, and thread cutter. There is a removable double ended crochet hook that you can use to pick up dropped stitches or for crocheted cast-ons. The back side opens up to reveal collapsible scissors, point protectors, a yarn needle, and a variety of sizes of flexible stitch markers.
The Knit Kit I have is the 2010 version. The 2009 version is black and lacks the double-ended crochet hook or yarn needle. I spoke to the Knit Kit folks at a recent trade show, and they told me that the next version of the Knit Kit will likely have a built in needle gauge. Oh, and if you misplace some of the items, you buy replacement accessory packs directly from the makers.