On Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/netties-super-simple-cowl
which takes you to this link with the full pattern and links to tutorials/videos:
photo from the pattern on Ravelry
Chain and slip stitches, with a yarn with long-colour variations making it look very cool with very little effort.
This would be a good one for beginners: mastering chain stitch (and control of hook/yarn) and making something something modern/interesting/useful. The example uses Aran/10 ply yarn and a 6mm hook, so it's not too fiddly either.
Could be good with an quirky yarn that doesn't need a lot of busy pattern but does better with a bit of air, like the sari silk yarns, too.