A slightly modified response to someone who wrote asking about how to learn to knit:
I started learning by reading a book my mom had stashed away, as well as using an article in Real Simple, which I can’t locate online. But there are a bunch of people who suggest Kids Knitting as a very clear, basic beginning guide. I wish I had known about that book when I set out.
Another place I really like is Stitch Guide, they have quicktime video of someone actually doing basic knit stitches, which is so helpful if you are like me, and too shy to go to a yarn shop and ask for help. I haven’t tried crochet yet, but Stitch Guide also has video for that!
And places I find helpful – the Glitter message boards at Get Crafty, a lot of other people are learning to knit, knitting email groups at groups.yahoo.com, About.com’s knitting section for free patterns, instructions and links, and Knitter’s Review for basics about needles, yarn reviews and the like. Also, Woolworks has a good listing of yarn shops.
You can buy cheap metal needles and yarn from a craft store to start, but I encourage you to get yourself to a yarn shop if you can, the many types of needles and nice (and expensive, yikes) yarn makes a big difference in the experience. I’ve read that wooden needles are good for beginner because they give more control over the yarn. My favorite online shops (which are laid out well and I learn stuff from) are:
patternworks (which also has a great color catalog) and eKnitting. Sadly, neither of those places carry my favorite yarns, I have to visit a shop or do a lot of googling. And jkl needles has every type of knitting needle I’ve ever looked for, right now I prefer short, straight, thick needles which shops usually don’t carry.
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