Q: What knives are good to get and why? Also, how do you keep your fingers out of the way of a really sharp knife?
I find Wusthof knives to be the best. They are made in Germany and are used by famous chefs all over the world. They are known for their excellent craftsmanship, feel, weight and sharp edges. You can find them at Williams-Sonoma, Macy's, Crate & Barrel and numerous online venues. In fact, there's also a website with all the information you need about Wusthofs, including how to care for them. Google "Wusthof knives" and find what you are looking for, including special sales!
As far as keeping your fingers safe, cut slowly and deliberately—especially if you haven't had much experience slicing and dicing. Never be in a hurry when you are chopping and always pay attention to where your fingers are and where the blade is. By the way, some cooking schools offer knife cutting classes. I took one, but I'm still ultra-careful!
Cristina on how to make the perfect gravy