Yarn: pick a colour you like, and don’t choose anything too fine. We recommend starting with medium weight or worsted weight yarn, as it will be easier to work with than thinner yarn. Also, choose a bright colour. This makes your stitches (and thus your mistakes) easier to spot.
Needles: Needles come in different shapes and sizes. The thickness of the needle is supposed to match the thickness of the yarn, so if you’re starting with medium yarn, start with medium needles (sizes 6-8). Shorter needles are easier to work with whereas longer needles can hold more stitches which is necessary for larger items, so choose accordingly. Needles also come in many different materials, such as plastic, metal, wood, and bamboo. Ultimately, this is a matter of preference, but we recommend starting with wood or bamboo as the stitches won’t slide off as easily as on plastic or metal.
Patterns: knitting patterns are a plan which explains how to make a given item. You want to start as simply as possible (usually with a scarf!), and can find plenty of free ones online. This blog entry at OMGheart not only explains all the equipment you need to start, it also provides a starting scarf pattern!