This was my first scarf. I absolutely adored it. I loved how the ends curved around (thanks to the garter stitch) and how the stockinette part curled inward (and keeps your neck really warm) and how the ribbed part made the scarf seem much longer than it really was. It's a great scarf that I still wear 8 years after I made it. It's part of the Lion Brand Learn to Knit Kit, which has everything you need to knit your first scarf. This how to kit includes the needles, the yarn, the pattern, instructions, and a tapestry needle. You can just get this one kit instead of running cluelessly around the craft store trying to figure out which tools you need. It saves you time and trouble.
What's really great is that you learn all the knitting techniques that a beginner knitter needs: casting on, the knit stitch, the purl stitch, stockinette stitch (one knit row followed by a purl row), garter stitch (knit every row). You also learn how to knit in a rib pattern, which is alternating knit and purl stitches consistently within a row and you learn how to bind off and finish your work. You really feel like you you've gotten the hang of knitting once you complete this scarf and gives you the confidence to try other projects. For me, it really was the best how to knit kit.
Here's what I used to teach myself how to knit:
I used the Lion Brand kit to knit my first scarf. It has everything you need to get started: yarn, needles, and instruction guide. It was simple and stylish enough to get me totally hooked on knitting and the directions were clear enough for me to figure out on my own without any additional assistance.
The Lion Brand kit was only missing the extra essentials, which is why I also recommend the Clover Notions Knit Mate. It has everything you need going forward and saves you a ton of money instead of buying everything individually. It has a measuring tape, tapestry needles, point protectors, row counter, stitch markets, stitch holders and a needle gauge all for around $13.
Learn More About Knitting
Once you catch the knitting bug you will want to learn everything you could possibly want to know. We've got a fantastic list of books just for beginning knitters to help you find inspiring projects and get a feel for knitting culture. You can also read our New Knitters Guide and learn more about why people love to knit.