I taught myself to knit. I started the basics anyway, and from there I bugged anybody who knew how to knit to teach me more. I worked near a yarn shop a couple of years ago, and I would stop in 2-3 times a week to ask the ladies how to do the next stitch, what the abbreviations meant, what to do with circular needles?
I finally learned enough to make scarves, and I made a bunch. Everybody I knew got a scarf. Then I wanted to do more than That, so I bought a couple of books to figure out how to read a pattern. The best books I found were The Knit Stitch and the Purl Stitch by Sally Melville.
Really good for new or experienced knitters in understanding how those two stitches work together. Also I loved Stitch and Bitch by Debbie Stoller. That book is really good for learning how to read a pattern, understanding gauge, using different kinds of yarn, and besides, the book is really funny.