Actually, you don't have to do 'a project' to learn to knit. Just cast on 20 sts or so and do a sampler - practice knitting every row first for a few inches, then throw in an alternate purl row for a couple inches. Then try mixing knits and purls on the same row, do some increases and decs. Try out some other stitch patterns too, and if you make it long enough, you have a scarf by that time.
sue- knitting heretic