I've only just learned to knit in the past 6 months or so, but I'm not very skillful as yet, probably because I only do it "when the spirit moves me." I have not yet attempted purling, but I'm gaining some skill at knitting. What I hate is when I screw up, because I can't go back to the screwed up part, fix it, and then go on. I pretty much have to unravel and start over. I don't know "which way" I knit, but I hold the needle I'm taking off of in my left hand and the needle I'm putting onto in my right hand. I can MAYBE knit a scarf, if I can keep from having a screw-up and then learn how to cast off when I'm done. I've got a book that shows everything, got it in a kit along with needles and yarn.
My grandmother could knit, crochet, and quilt. I have several quilts and afghans she made. My mom does cross-stitch, which I do, again, "when the spirit moves me." I haven't done ANYTHING on any of my cross-stitch projects in AGES. I like those cross-stitch kits you used to be able to get at Wal-Mart (they don't carry them anymore). They come with everything you need -- embroidery floss, canvas, needle, and pattern. They're still available on the Internet. If you're going to try cross-stitch, though, I suggest you invest in accessories like an embroidery hoop (though I manage quite well without), and a flat magnetic piece of metal and a magnetic strip to hold the pattern flat and help keep your place. Constantly looking for the right row as you go back and forth between canvas and pattern can be very confusing and potentially screw-uppy.
"Oir is leatsa an rioghachd, agus an cumhachd, agus a gloir, gu siorraidh, Amen." ("For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever, Amen" -- Scots Gaelic)