Great stuff like this company that has "Brooklyn" in its name (pretty much a pre req. these days for company names): Brooklyn Tweed. But honestly I love their 100% American wool yarns, especially this awesome colour called "long johns". I think I would make it into mittens. Their patterns also look pretty great, and I love the fact that you just download .pdfs from their site for some instant gratification.
I was looking for a finer, textured cowl pattern, but I also came across this super chunky pattern from Martha Stewart. If you want to make something giant really quickly I'm pretty sure it would do the trick.
In my search for exciting (and, let's face it, low commitment) patterns I also found this knitting-centric tumblr: Knitting, Fuck Yeah! It's packed with pages of properly linked patterns and is a great visual collection of knitting inspiration.
I have never been successful with intarsia (using two or more colours in the same row to make magical gloves or mitts like these), but my mom has mastered the double knit New England/Maritimes mitten. I hope that she makes me a pair that I can pick up in Calgary at Christmas time! If I had a picture of her handy work I'd post it as my fourth favourite (though it's technically my first favourite). Instead, I'll just let you know that someday soon she hopes to get her knitwear company, Bow Valley Knits, up and running.
And finally, if you can't afford $100 Norwegian mittens, you could make your own. Mitts are a pretty easy project to take on to learn a few more basic skills, like working in the round and increasing/decreasing. These ones look super easy and would get you started.
There you go, people. The best of the things that I found this week before I just made up my own pattern for what I wanted to make and winged everything. Also, starting a new project may or may not have been an excuse just to use the manual winding machine at the yarn store. I love those things!