Here are a couple of websites that will help those who are learning to knit and crochet.
Learn to Knit & Crochet
Includes articles on getting started, basics of crocheting and knitting, knitting vs. crochet, project ideas, frequently asked questions, and a discussion forum.
Knit911 (and Crochet911)
This website goes beyond getting started and discusses common problems, reading directions, explanation of knitting/crochet terms, and resources.
Another take on knitting/crocheting shawls for others. Started by popular author Debbie Macomber.
Debbie has written more than 150 novels, nine of which hit all three bestseller lists-- The New York Times, Publishers Weekly and USA Today. The recipient of RITA and the first-ever Quill Award for romance fiction, Debbie won the heart of knitters and crocheters with her books centered on knitting themes. Her first "knit-lit" novel was The Shop on Blossom Street, which was followed by A Good Yarn. Her most recent release is entitled Back on Blossom Street.
About the Website;
"This new website will serve as an online community meeting place for knitters and crocheters who want to create Friendship Shawls. I want to personally invite each and every one of you to join in. There will be free patterns, information about personalizing the shawls, links to helpful sites and an explanation of pattern stitches appropriate for shawls."