I taught myself to knit over a weekend on a business trip in 2010. There was literally nothing else to do in the small town I was in except sleep or belly up to the hotel bar, so at WalMart I picked up a clearance ball of chunky yarn, some clearance straight 10 1/2 needles, and a little how to knit pamphlet, also on clearance. For about $5 I frustrated myself all weekend long in my hotel room and learned to knit. Best $5 I ever spent!
I love the Blossom Street novels, and plan on making Alix's Prayer Shawl one of these post beast days. I just finished Clara Parkes' The Yarn Whisperer
. It's a series of essays on life, the universe, and everything as knitting relates to them.