I just decided to pick up crocheting and have the basics down. For my first "real" project I really want to make this pretty puffs slouchy hat (http://jessicasuzanne.com/craftypants/2007/09/13/pretty-puffs-slouchy-hat-with-pattern/) but am having a lot of trouble. I don't understand the pattern directions at all. I'm stuck on the first row which says:
1: ch 4, 12 dc in first st, join in ch. (Just grab one loop from top of the chain. This makes the seam less visible, and this will make a circle.) 
So..... I chain 4 and then in the first of those four do i make 12 dc? when I try this it just turns into a nest of yarn.
And reading ahead in line two it says:
2: ch 3, work 1 dc where chain is (in same st as join - ch3 counts as first dc), 2 dc in each stitch, join with sl st (remember, the ch counts as a st!). 
for there do I make a new chain from the ball and then go back to the beginning of the chain? :[
Should I move to a simpler project until the rosetta stone of crochet patterns is revealed to me or something?