While this is the definitive reference book for everything about knitting, I think you could actually teach yourself from this book. The illustrations and diagrams are virtually self-explanatory. When I taught myself to knit, I used Debbie Bliss' "How to Knit," but also relied on this as a supplement. While Bliss' book is extremely helpful, I found Vogue's illustrations and descriptions to be a little more precise. For example, I had been confused about how to bind off, until I referred to this book. In that case, Vogue's diagram was more clear, and I proceeded with confidence.
The layout of this book is amazing, as well. The Editors seem to instinctively place all the information you need at your fingertips. Cross references on each page and color-coding of each chapter help you flip instantly to what you need to know.
This is not just another bland reference book. There is a lot of inspiration to be found here, in addition to unparalleled advice, and the last word on any technique you can imagine. One of the best features of this book is the design workshop at the back. Nowhere have I seen a simpler, more straightforward "how-to" for design. I never imagined designing until I saw their simple chart, diagrams, calculations, and advice on the subject. Debbie Bliss' "How to Knit" has a design workshop, but it is more of an introduction/afterthought and doesn't really get you there as Vogue does.