I've been enjoying my copies of two books by Mary Thomas. Mary Thomas' Book of Knitting Patterns and Mary Thomas' Knitting Book are both available from DOVER PUBLICATIONS. (although I found mine at a library book sale, of course) I love a lot about these books, for example, her suggestions of using at-hand objects rather than needing specialized equipment.
Last night I was teaching myself to cable, and she suggested using a match stick or orange stick rather than my fancy schmancy bird wing cable needle.
I learned to spin using an apple stuck on the end of a notched pencil, years ago. And the most basic of all, finger weaving a scarf as taught by my best friend in second grade was my first experience of knitting I think.
These books are so fun! She goes into the history of knitting, and antique tools and how to design what she calls 'peasant garments'. Between these and my Weldons Practical Needlework I'm having a marvelous time trying all these old stitches and techniques!