I like knitting bears - they're fast and easy and don't take much wool. Would you believe that this little chap is made of just 5 knitted rectangles?
You tie off the corners for the ears and make a neck by tying wool tightly about 1/3 of the way up the rectangle and the snout is made by making a circular running stitch and pulling it up a little. The arms and legs are just rectangles sewn up and stuffed - attach them with wool and a button at the top of each limb and there you go. Really quick but ever so effective. The pattern is from my favourite knitted toy book, The Knitted Teddy Bear by Sandra Polley. He's about 6 inches tall, I made a similar one to put in my daughter's birthday box.