I taught myself out of Stitch 'n' Bitch. A couple of girlfriends at work had started, so I wanted to learn. I bought and returned 2 pairs of needles (they were too small for what I wanted) before I settled on a pair of US 15. The first scarf I knit was garter stitch on recycled indian sari silk. It's one of my favorites.
I taught my sister to knit and am helping one girlfriend through her first scarf. No one's really run with it, yet... not when I keep making them stuff.
You know what they say: Give a man a fish, feed him for the day. Teach a man to fish, feed him forever. (or something like that).