I went with a friend to buy her first yarn! I taught her to knit about a month ago and she's been practicing on some yarn out of my stash. She was ready to take her first steps on her own, though, and this is what she selected. It's Noro Taiyo, a bit hard for a beginner due to the "thick and thin" nature of the yarn and the stubborness of the silk but so worth the effort. I made a simple cowl pattern for her, cast her on and away she went.