I had recently picked up the book Crochet Boutique: Hats: 25 Fresh Takes on Classic Crocheted Hat Designs by Rachael Oglesby. The book has a decent variety of hats and difficulty levels in it. I started with the first pattern “Bulky Shell Beret” because it was rated beginner/easy and used the Lion Wool-Ease Thick and Quick yarn to make. The pattern went together fairly easily. I understood the instruction.
The first try at this pattern took me about four hours (split over two days) to complete. I used the 9mm (N) hook for the beret. I did not have the best of slip stitches over to the chain one on the shell. It ended up too small.
The second time, I used the 10mm (N) hook. It came out much better and had a better fit for me. The second try probably took less time to make than the first.