I think I have to humbly admit that I was guilty of the same confusion between engine or framework though I don't consider myself a beginner (I knew assembler on my c64 and Amiga)
If I get it right a game engine is some package that allows non-programmers or beginning programmers to create a game with point and click interfaces while a framework is only there to hide the nitty-gritty i.e. individual DIP calls, renderstate changes, model management, etc.
I myself want to create a game from scratch without a framework then but definitely not a game engine. According to me the latter is work for a whole team of Computer Science Phd's
An engine is not a point-and-click tool. There have been countless of discussions to define the term "engine" but it always ends up with lots of people disagreeing with eachother.
The best way to describe an engine would be to give examples. Have a look at the UDK, Cryengine 3, Unity, etc. Those are engines
They provide an entire toolset for building vastly complex games of varying genres, and that's what an engine's all about
I'd say you stand a good chance of creating your own game from scratch if you dabbled in assembler.
What would make you say that? I've programmed in IA32, AMD64, MIPS, MC68000 and ARM assembler, and those skills mean absolutely nothing when it comes to developing my engine or games for that matter