I just finished my very first project!
I had my wife pick out a pattern for her hat and we got colors to match her coat. http://www.knitty.com/ISSUEwinter03/PATTcoronet.html
I know that this is an intermediate project, but why not jump in head first right. I am also crazy enough to change things in the pattern. I made it two colors (easy), and I picked up stitches on BOTH sides of the cabled band because I wanted the stockinette to hold it up. (harder, because I turned it inside out, rolled up the band and fed a big loop of yarn through to purl the 90 sts.) I also made it shorter, because my wife didn't want it to cover her eyes.
My only regret is that the cabled band had to be first. I started feeling pretty good about knitting at about the halfway point in the top. I had a problem with loose stitches on the edge of the band, but didn't feel comfortable slipping the stitches. ( I didn't know how hard it would be to pick up from that.) I couldn't get the provisional cast on to work, so I knit about 10 rows and then inserted a lifeline to start the pattern. I took this apart to do the Kirchner stitch after it was long enough. BTW, is there a way to join this and keep to the pattern? K2 P2 K9 P2 K2
I also asked a question on the help forum about the stokinette cap, because the picture didn't look like it. You guys really came through!
Anyways, there it is, my first project. I am thinking about a hat for my noggin with a pattern right out of it. (knit purl patterns, checks and lines, maybe?)