For those of you who haven't been exposed to Elizabeth Zimmermann's mode of teaching knitting ... where have you been?
As I've mentioned many times before, her books are icons of hand-knitting tutorials. Her writing is unique as she chats you through the topic and gives you the confidence to "just knit".
For those of you who are visual learners -- as is my Kotch -- Meg Swansen, EZ's daughter, is reproducing the old EZ videos onto DVDs. But Meg isn't just taking them and reprinting -- she is editing, amending and adding to these videos, suggesting improvements or better ways of doing things that Meg and her mom discovered after the original books and videos were produced.
So, if you can afford to buy them, my recommendation is to obtain both The Knitting Workshop on DVD (and the companion book, The Knitting Workshop) and A Knitting Glossary on DVD. If you can't buy them, get them from the library (make sure they're the DVDs) and renew as often as possible.
The KW on DVD and in book form is so nice as it walks you through cast on, ribbing, hat making and on to your first sweater etc. EZ is quirky and chats you through these things -- watch or read through first and then go back and watch/read periodically as you learn. I re-read EZ's books at least once per year and also reference them periodically for specific projects.
The KG will prove invaluable as you develop your techniques -- and on DVD it makes it much easier to start, stop, rewind, skip, etc to just what you need. The companion book to KG has not been updated -- the DVD has been updated by Meg to include lots of great, new info -- (and is not easy to find) so that's a good one to check out from the library.