When I first taught DH the knit and purl stitches and he had made a few little swatches I told him he was ready to make something, what did he want to make? And he said a hat. So then I said okay, "You need to learn how to rib and you'll need to learn to work on a circular needle, but that's not hard." So I just taught him the basics of how to make a hat. No gauge swatches or anything, just cast on 84 stitches and make a hat. When he got to the top I showed him how to do the decreases. He is not interested in learning to follow a pattern.
Here is my Photobucket
site that has pictures of his hats. The first ones will be the the last ones he made. The first one he made is the second from the end. There are 4 pages of hats, multiple views of some of them. Click on "Things Hubby Made" if you'd like to look. I taught him corrugated ribbing because I thought he would like it, he did. He learned a lot of things; every hat would give him an idea for another. He is very artistic and has made things with his hands all his life. Some things he has made are cabins, a boat, sandals, quilts, and some of the best Vacation Bible decorations in the country.
I'm pretty proud of him.