My favorite book for knitting patterns is Ann Budd's The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns. The patterns are basic, which makes them a great starting point for one's own embellishments. The best thing about the book is that instructions are given for multiple sizes and gauges. So you can buy whatever yarn you like, knit up a little swatch to get gauge, and you're all set to make one of the following!:
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Here are a few pictures of things I've knitted from this book's basic patterns!