I think I was about eight or nine years old when my cousin taught me to knit, using what she called the knitting fairy tale. It goes something like this: The prince (your right hand needle) rides against the castle (first stitch on the left hand needle). He sneaks around and inside the backdoor, get the princess (i.e. the thread) and rides out. Voila!
My first project ever was a scarf, knit with some kind of frilly yarn that I thought lovely, but of course it was terrible for a first time knitter. Well, at least all my holes weren't as visible.