I learned to knit in the summer before my senior year at Williams College in Williamstown, MA. This was back when the Internet was still in its infancy and the only people who had email accounts were scientists and geeky college students (such as myself).
For some reason, I decided that it would be incredibly romantic to knit my BF a sweater. One of my friends who could knit told me that the little yarn store on Spring Street would teach me how to knit if I bought yarn there. So, I went to the store, knowing next to nothing about what I was getting into.
I walked into the store and told a nice woman that I wanted to learn to knit and wanted to knit a sweater. Looking back, I'm surprised that the woman didn't laugh or try to convince me to start with a smaller project. Instead, she handed me a stack of patterns and told me to pick one out. I'm not sure if she was confident in her abilities as a knitting teacher or confident in the idea that anyone can knit. Or perhaps she was used to college girls coming and wanting to knit sweaters for their BFs.
Once I had my pattern chosen, the woman helped me pick out the yarn I needed. Ok--she didn't "help"--she showed me the yarn I should use and asked me what colors I wanted. Then, she picked up two plastic circular needles and rang up the entire purchase. I can't remember if I flinched at the price.
Then, in one afternoon, the kind woman taught me to cast on, knit, purl, and do ribbing. Over the summer months she taught me how to make increases, do stockinette stitching, do garter stitching, change colors, knit with two colors, and bind off.
Now that I think back on that summer, I'm sad that I don't remember the woman's name or the store name. I'm also unhappy that I never thanked my knitting teacher or had a chance to show her the finished sweater. (I finished knitting the sweater over winter break and my mother helped me join the pieces. I gave it to my BF for Christmas, so the sweater never made a return trip to Williamstown.)