You know, I got sick and tired of using someone else's pattern because it meant I had to conform to their yarn and gauge, etc. It's so hard to get gauge right when you really don't want to use the yarn they present to you... and I'm just sick of spending so much time knitting up a gauge on different sized needles, double-stranded yarn, etc. What did I do? Well, I chose mittens! They're somewhat simple... there's a cuff, a thumb gusset and the rest of the hand is basically an ovalish shape that fits around the rest of the hand. The trickiest parts of that are the gusset and decreasing on the ends of the thumb and hand area, really... not that bad. For the gusset, I used a traditional gusset and for increases and decreases, I used ones that would put a patterning on the mittens that I liked. As for gauge, I figured out my gauge with the yarn I wanted to use and dpn's (I wanted a mainly seamless mitten) the size that looked right. Something small and simple is definitely the way to go to begin with. Scarves are VERY simple and you can think of how you'd like to make one that has elements you want that you may not have seen all in one pattern or any in one pattern. Just experiment!