I would suggest worsted weight (medium wt) yarn and size 8 needles and u r good to go!
Point protectors that go on the end of the needles to keep the yarn from slipping off is good when beginning.
As a matter of fact, there are kits available for around $10 or $12 that have a booklet and 2 sets of needles and several notions that are needed. This is what I used when I learned to knit. We got mine @ Michaels, I have since seen them everywhere...WalMart, Joanns...all over the place. I found it nice that everything was in one pack.
Then u grab a skein of yarn & good to go!