What a great compilation. I have a few things to add:Where can I find a free pattern for X? www.ravelry.com
is a huge compilation of patterns from free to in books. I discovered this site last year and it has rocked my world and wasted so many hours of my life that I could have actually spent knitting.
To address the "How to read charts" question
A lot of patterns have a chart and then they break it down in the knitting abbreviations (K, SSK, YO, etc.). You will have a chart and a legend for that chart. Each box on the chart is a stitch and each line is row, working from the bottom up (the bottom is row 1).
Here is a link of standard abbreviationshttp://www.craftyarncouncil.com/chart_knit.html
The more practice you have knitting from charts the easier it will become.