Barbara Walker first turned me on to knitting in her invaluable primer for beginners, "America's Knitting Book", now sadly out of print. Once you get past casting on and the basic knit and purl stitches, it's fun to start designing your own projects, and the "Treasury" makes this simple.
It was the "Treasury" that turned me into a dyed-in-the-wool "knitwit". It's mind-blowing to think that so many hundreds of patterns are varieties of just two fundamental stitches, the knit stitch and the purl stitch. Let your imagination loose; there's no limit on what you can make. The "Treasury" is organized into basic pattern groups, starting with simple knit-purl combinations, and advancing through ribbing, color-change patterns, slip stitch, twist stitch, and many more, all the way through lace and cable stitch patterns. The directions are very clear and concise, and the photographs are excellent. Walker doesn't give instructions for making different garments in this book, but she does explain how the patterns can be adapted to making just about anything.
One of the best (for this reviewer) chapters was the one on cable stitch knitting; here Walker tells how to design and make your own original fisherman's sweater, using any number of different cable stitch patterns. It sounded like so much fun that I decided to try it, and it came out so great that I promptly made another one, this time casting on from top to bottom and knitting the sweater sideways, so all the cables run horizontal. Talk about an original! This book really lets your creative genius loose. Use it, enjoy it, and have a lot of fun.