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A lot of people have success from picking up one of the "I taught myself how to knit (or crochet)" books that are in the craft sections of stores like Walmart or Meijer. Another option is to pick something you'd like to make either by knitting or crocheting and then looking up how to do it - there are tons of youtube videos showing techniques, but you first need to know what you want to make, how you want to do it (knit or crochet) and from there you'll be able to figure out what size/type of needle or hook you need and how much yarn.
Dishcloths are great to start with. There are a ton of free patterns online, they are relatively small and good for beginners (although there are some dishcloth patterns that are harder, stay away from those!).
__________________ Joanna wife, mother, blogger, support group leader, perpetually behind on laundry
I found that this pattern>>> Grandma's dish cloth was SUPER easy to start my knitting with. I first learned not from books but a LOT of youtube videos. Once I got that down I learned the basics of crocheting too. My problem now is that I never ever actually finish very many of my projects.
...Proud Army Wife & Mom
... (A 09/98) ... (S 5/00) ...(T 5/01) ...
... (S2 9/06)... (A2 01/09) ... (A 7/2/12)
i literally went to walmart, bought the package of like 8 differant hooks, bought some yarn, went home and checked out youtube. search "how to crochet..." once you can master some of the basics and the termanology, then you can move onto reading other patterns and even making your own!
a lot of youtube sites will show you just basic stitches. or you can even google and they have pictures to walk you through each project. i would say the easiest project i did (and my first) was a little bow headband for my niece. i have to make another one so i could try to walk out the pattern for you