I may be in the minority, but I find crocheting easier than knitting. But if you need a primer, Debbie Stoller's The Happy Hooker offers the best step-by-step directions for beginners that I've found. Plus her patterns are more fashion-forward than the frumpy patterns in many books. I've seen plenty of crochet collections full of hats that are so nerdy they can't even be worn as ironic accessories for hipsters. Crochet Chic offers a refreshing variety of style-savvy patterns.
Although it's relaxing and enjoyable, most of us don't have a lot of spare time for crafting. Crochet One-skein Wonders provides patterns for small amounts of yarn (and time) that include plenty of scarves and hats. You can whip up adorable mittens and cowls with Clever Crocheted Accessories.
In my experience, trying to crochet a sweater has resulted in an ill-fitting mess that shrinks to Barbie side when I try to wash it. Trust me, sticking with "one size fits all" winter wear in trendy patterns is the way to go.