I have Last Minute Knitted Gifts and love it, I think it would be great for a newbie! Still one of my all time faves, projects for all levels, but a fave, as I said, Scarf Style. You will get a LOT of info on substituting yarns when wool is called for with No Sheep for You (I ordered this one, a must have IMHO). Oh my, a MUST have, The Knitters Handy Book of Patterns, this book has several patterns and they are sized for sizes from kids to adults, really great for a newbie IMHO. I almost forgot…ya gotta have Mason Dixon Knitting! ANother WONDERFUL book, The Best of Vogue, my husband surprised me with this before I even knew it was released! It has 25 OUTSTANDING articles that have been taken from Vogue magazine over the past 25 years, I love, love mine!! I don’t have it yet, but is Knit Fix is anything like I’ve heard, every knitter should have it bc it shows you how to fix so many mistakes in knitting! Sweater Workshop is amazing, it teaches you how to make sweaters to fit anyone. And, when you are ready to knit socks (the most fun things in the world to knit!), then Sensational Knitted Socks is a must have, I understand the 2nd version is as good, but I don’t have it. I don’t have them, but know that Sally Melville’s books are great The Knitting Experience which deals with the knit st, and a basic into into knitting; The Purl Stitch and the 3rd in the series, The Knitting Experience 3, Color. And then there’s Knitting without Tears by the one and only Elizabeth Zimmermann.
I know there are many more books out there, but these I easily found on the bestseller list.
FYI, I learned to knit from and still occasionally use my wonderful “Knitting for Dummies” I highly recommend it to anybody…check Ebay!
Almost forgot, The Knitters Companion.
Happy Book Hunting!