Yes–I feel that way all the time! Usually the first item I make I tend to use leftover yarn or not very fancy/pricey yarn in case it doesn’t turn out. Once I learn all the nuances of the pattern and the methods that I may have not done exactly right–if I really liked the pattern to make another one–I go ahead, knowing the second one will be much better. I’m making my third SnB “Newsboy Cap”. The first one I made was the first project I was to do using cables, and I was scared to try them! As it turns out, it wasn’t the cables that gave me the problem, but the increases and decreases on the brim. I used the wrong ones, so my increases left small holes like a yarn-over would, and my decreases were visible. After I “researched” which increases and decreases I should’ve used, I felt confident to start another one. I LOVE this hat because it’s very comfortable and the style is perfect because I have thick curly hair, which I can easily pile up in it, and it’s stylish. I’m on my third one now and I could practically knit it with my eyes closed, and I have no hesitations when making it with regards to following the pattern, etc.
Maybe if I were a more seasoned knitter I would feel confident about my first projects with a new pattern, but for now, I would definitely say that the first item made from a new pattern is definitely a “practice” run for me!