I began knitting 9=inch square face cloths in Peaches N'Cream cotton as a way to get comfortable with using knit/purl to create textures and get used to following a pattern.
You can google "knit washcloths" and get all kinds of free patterns. My first one was a heart within the square. It helped me learn how to count accurately and "read" my knitting. Later I did a bat pattern in orange (for a Halloween birthday), a butterfly pattern in pink, and a dragonfly in pale green (for a friend who just redid her bath).
Your local craft shop may have a rack of leaflets with patterns for these as well.
The end result is a beautiful soft cloth. Wrap it around a small bar of soap and tie it up with a pretty ribbon for a nice "girlfriend gift."
Some people use these for dishcloths, but after putting this kind of effort into it, I can't see throwing it into dirty old dishwater. Instead, make it a lovely bath gift item. Happy knitting.