Mandi, I'm also a new knitter, and I just knit a hat on the weekend, with DPNs. This was the pattern I used:
I started it up once, totally messed it up, then started it over again. The second time was smooth sailing, so obviously the practice try did the trick. So relax when you first give it a try and don't worry if it doesn't work out right away.
I followed very sound advice that I got on this forum: when you start knitting, instead of ending each needle in the same place, knit two stitches further from the next needle. This will avoid those stretched-out stitches (known as ladders) between the needles. This means that you need to carry a stitch marker with you so that you know where the start of the row is. I don't even own a stitch market yet, so I just used a small safety pin. I also gave the first couple of stitches on each needle an extra tug.
The first two rows took me several hours of fiddling around with the DPNs. Then I got the hang of it, and the rest of the hat took me about two hours. It was actually very easy!