As I promised earlier last week, below are some awesome resources for both beginner and experienced knitters.
Stitch and Bitch: The Knitter's Handbook
Not only does this book cover the bare-bones basics of knitting (including information about yarn and fiber types, needles, historical background, how to read patterns, etc), it also includes a dozen or so patterns ranging from the very basic to more advanced techniques like cables. It's a wonderful reference if you forget how to do something basic like a purl stitch, or how to do a right-slanting decrease. If I had to recommend one book, I think this would be it.
Knitting Without Tears
This book is an oldie, but a goodie. Elizabeth is a passionate, very traditional knitter. This book is less "flashy" than more popular, recently-published books, but contains wonderful concepts concerning yarn craft. Rather than learn step-by-step instruction, Elizabeth covers shaping, blocking, pattern design, pattern modification, gauge, etc. I think it's a wonderful way to understand knitting overall, rather than just becoming a machine capable of cranking out a hat strictly following a pattern with no originality. You might want to save this book for the end of this class, once you have a better general concept of the material at hand.
For you digitally-inclined knitters, Ravelry is THE website to visit. Their sign-up process is a bit of a pain (you have to wait for the invite to be sent to your email, which can take a few days), but so worth it. This website is sort of like Facebook meets an intense searchable pattern library, with forums to boot. I pretty much find all of the patterns that I use through Ravelry (many of them are free, and you can add search filters to only include those that are). You can also digitally store these patterns, the types of yarns you have in your stash, etc. Definitely check this out.
Knitty is an awesome, free, online knitting magazine published four times a year. Each issue includes about twenty unique patterns covering a range of difficulty from easy to super-duper-advanced (and a couple even focus on hand-spun yarn). In addition to the patterns, there are about a dozen or so articles and product reviews that cover a wide variety of topics. Definitely worth looking at, and the backdated issues are accessible and free too!