I personally think that starting with a project in mind (a scarf for your husband or yourself, maybe) is helpful, because then all kinds of decisions become much easier.
For instance, if you or your giftee is fussy about what you wear, take that into account before you decide on what to buy. (For instance, I like to wear and work with mainly natural fibres, which means I largely ignore acrylics.) If cost is an issue or if you’re not sure you’ll actually like knitting, stick with low range tools and supplies at first, there’s absolutely nothing wrong with them and I’ve seen people do beautiful work with them.
Another thing to consider is to buy a kit – have your husband simply ask for a kit that comes with everything you need to complete the project. It’ll have needles, yarn, directions, everything you need to make a scarf or hat or whatever it’s for.
All knitting is pretty much the two stitches of Knit and Purl, with a few more techniques thrown in here and there, like yarnovers and slip stitches, etc… Amy’s videos make learning them very easy. After that, mastery of knitting means expanding your technique, learning to choose materials and projects well, and refining your tension and control over the fibres.
I’ve been working with various textiles in various techniques since I was 4 years old, and I’ve taught in many of those techniques throughout my career, but only started knitting on New Year’s Eve of 2009. I can’t believe I ever found it unlearnable, but I did! I’ve tried several times to knit over the years, but it’s never stuck. I think it’s perhaps because I always started with cheap materials and very basic tools – I’m a snob about fibres and tools, so I don’t know why I didn’t take that into account.
Other people I know have knitted things in acrylic and with cheap plastic needles all their lives, and been very happy to do so, making beautiful things with them.
So everybody’s different, we all learn different ways, and if you want to knit, you will probably get a better success rate if you take the way you learn and enjoy doing crafts into account when you plan your attack on learning knitting!
Good luck – this forum and website has been invaluable to me in getting going and learning the finer points of knitting!
ETA: when you are buying skeins of yarn, the label will almost always give a recommendation of size needle for an acceptable result. The larger the diameter of the yarn, usually the larger the diameter of the needle. A very easy way to start knitting is to buy a chunky or ultra-thick yarn and very large needles.