Making a knife by hand is a slow and meticulous process.  As with many products made by hand, it's fairly easy to get started in knifemaking, but is an ongoing process that you can spend a lifetime trying to master.  With a few basic tools and some instruction, you can get going pretty quickly.  I learned by watching my father make knives at first, and read many books on knifemaking.  As the internet evolved, much more information became available that has been helpful, and I continue to study the practices of other knifemakers who post videos on how they do things.  You will find that there are many ways to approach knifemaking, so take time to find the method that best suits you.

I make knives strictly through the "stock removal" method, which means that you take a piece of steel and grind away everything that doesn't look like a knife, and voila--a knife!  There's a little more to it than that, but I should point out that there are two basic ways of making knives by hand: stock removal and forging.  With the stock removal method, you take a "blank" of steel (see the section on materials) and grind bevels on the steel to form a sharp edge.  The forging method of knifemaking is like what you would think of with blacksmithing, where the steel is placed in a hot oven or "forge", where it gets hot enough that the metal becomes softer and you can pound the crap out of it with special hammers to forge it into the shape of a knife.  

Utah Knife Works

Handmade Knives by Mark Russon

Outdoor knives with the spirit of the West