I don't think about what makes a good starter project. I don't test the waters, I just jump in. Think of it this way...maybe your first hat won't be perfect. But the second one will! I love the hat too. Make what you love and you will keep trying until you've got it.
I've yet to do a fair isle project. I've got a plaid pattern that is a must knit for me. So, I'm jumping in...I'll have it figured out before the end of the project.
Remember: It's just knitting. There are no knitting police. Nobody will die if you misread a chart or purl when you should have knit. Yarn can be rescued, projects can be restarted, fit can be altered, all mistakes can be banished. All you have to do is unravel and try again.