I just began my first ever sweater today. I checked out Yarn Girls Guide to Knits for Older Kids from my library a couple of weeks ago and have been reading through it. The instructions for the first sweater in there - a pullover with curling edges since it's St st the whole way through, and knit with super bulky yarn on size 17 needles - seemed simple enough, so I thought I would give it a try. It's for my 7-year-old DD.
I have just completed the first rectangle part and it's time to begin shaping the armholes. I took a break to check my email, etc. on my computer. The instructions are, IMHO, super-easy to follow and I can't wait to complete it.
I say dive right in and give it a try -- I have a feeling that after this one, as it seems so simple, I will be wanting to do knit more and more ...
My advice is to find a sweater that you really want to knit and that has instructions/pattern that you think are written so that you can follow them. That's one of the things I like about the Yarn Girls books - they make sense to my brain
ETA: it helped me to not be intimidated to think about sewing, and that knitting a sweater (at least this kind that I am working on right now) is simply making all the pieces (the front fabric, back fabric and sleeves) and then sewing them together.