I spent a little time looking through patterns online and found one I really liked. I shared it with her and she agreed that it would be perfect. The pattern is by Kathy Lashley of ELK Studio and free through Ravelry or her blog.
This is a super basic pattern and might be an excellent one for a beginner. It uses a basic chain start, and alternates between sc and dc to get the houndstooth look. Most patterns online use this technique and although it isn't a true houndstooth shape, it really gets the job done and looks nice. It did take me quite a few rows into the scarf before I could really see how it would look when done.
For me this pattern was such a no brainer, that I watched a lot of Crash Course while getting it done. Figured I could relearn some stuff while working.
Time to complete: 5-6 hours