If you are shopping for a beginner or if you are a beginner yourself, start small. If you are shopping for a child or grandchild remember that instant results are what matters. Start with a small pattern with simple lines. A kit is a great way to start. The wool is already cut in strips and since you are buying only the wool that you will need.
Even for yourself, start small unless you are accomplished in other needle crafts or arts. The learning curve is amazing. In a small piece your technique will improve noticeably. You will be glad to get that first piece done so you can start a new piece with your new skill.
In addition to a kit with the pattern and wool you will need some kind of hook large enough to pull the fabric strips. A hooking frame is optional but hooking without a frame can be a little cumbersome. A quilting hoop will hold your pattern tightly. Many folks prefer it to a hooking frame.
There are wonderful videos on the internet demonstrating the techniques of hooking. Search for "Traditional rug hooking" on YouTube and you'll find lots of help.
To find a list of teachers near you, go to the ATHA (Association of Traditional Hooking Artists) website, www.atharugs.com or the McGown Guild www.mcgownguild.com .And SAVE that first hooked piece. You will look at it many times and smile.