Ahhyee (http://www.xanga.com/home.aspx?user=ahhyee ) says it is hard to learn to knit from a book, and that is true. I have three things to say about that.
The first is that there are a lot of books with beginning knitting instructions nowadays, and they are more complete than they used to be. For longtime knitters like me, this can be a little bit frustrating, actually. I went to check out the new crop of knitting books, and it seems that way too many pages are spent on basic instruction. Then there are some basic patterns that all the books have. And a bunch of projects whose instructions might just as well say “Make a rectangle in stockinette.” And finally, one or two original ideas — but not enough to make it worth buying the book. So, in a way, it is a good time to be learning to knit from books. If I were going to choose one book for learning to knit, it would be Kids Knitting by Melanie Falick. Not onyl does it have good basic instructions, it breaks the process down and has a project for each step. So you can make things as you go along, with each new skill, instead of just practicing.
The second is that there are lots of knitters out there, and most of them would be glad to show a new knitter how. Learning from a human is quick, and then you can go home and perfect your skills. There’s the local knitting shop, of course, if you have one, but what about calling your local nursing home to ask whether any of the inhabitants would let you visit and learn to knit? It would be exciting for the teacher and a great opportunity for the student.
The third is that there is a traditional rhyme which is used to teach children how to knit. Here it is:
“In through the front door [put the right-hand needle through the loop on the left hand needle],
Once around the back [throw the yarn around the right-hand needle]
Peep through the window [pull the right-hand needle with the yarn through to the front]
And off jumps Jack!” [pull the stitch off the left-hand needle]
If you recite this as you knit, or as you show someone else how to knit, you will find that it makes the whole thing very easy to remember.