The best resource in the world is your local library. Sure, most pattern books are things you want to keep around but choosing a pattern book often takes more time than browsing allows. My library is Multnomah County Library and it is fantastic. I reserve books online and manage my books online too. Renewing online makes my life so easy.
My mother leans heavily on the videos on YouTube and has a circle of friends she knits and spins with. Classes are great places to meet fellow crafters and a lot of stores offer classes to encourage people to become more frequent shoppers.
These are the shops I’ve visited most often here in Portland. I plan on adding others as I get to them.
Twisted (Portland, OR) – classes, helpful people, beautiful yarn, books & patterns, supplies, comfy couch & tea
Yarn Garden (Portland, OR) – amazing selection of yarns
Happy Knits (Portland, OR) – yarns, classes, room with fireplace for classes and sitting to knit
Fabric Depot (Portland, OR) – the legendary, the amazing, the most fantastic and necessary place to visit in Portland (my husband refuses to go there ever again)
Socks from the Toe Up: Essential Techniques and Patterns from Wendy Knits by Wendy D Johnson – a great book on toe-up socks
Toe-Up Two-at-a-Time Socks by Melissa Morgan-Oakes – never do one sock at a time again!
Folk Hats: 32 Knitting Patterns & Tales from Around the World by Vicki Square – I love my ruffled dignity hat.
Knitting Without Tears: Basic Techniques and Easy-To-Follow Directions for Garments to Fit All Sizes by Elizabeth Zimmermann – Zimmermann revolutionized modern knitting. This was the book that began it.