The first cross stitch I ever did was in High School Home Ec class - they always taught a craft once a year and that year was cross stitch. We got ONE lesson and that's all the instruction I ever really got that I learned from a real, live person :D But she was a good teacher, made sure all the stitches were crossed the same way, no knots, and not to carry colors too far. We all stitched a little owl.
I added the 'A' later, because I really loved doing cross stitch but the one thing they didn't tell us was where to get more stuff to stitch! So I really wanted to do more. The 'A' was my baby sister's initial. Then I didn't stitch for a couple years until I found some kits in a discount store and was like 'OH! I know how to do that!' and I've never completely stopped since :D