Yarn: Jo Sharp DK Wool, Heron (color 802) - on sale at WEBS for $3.99 a skein!!!! (pardon the exclamation marks, but this is great great yarn, and how often can you knit a hat for 8 bucks?)
Gauge: 20 st and 28 rows to 4" in stockinette, before washing
Needles: size 4 and size 6 16" circulars, size 6 DPNs
Size: Men's Medium
Finally, a hat that works for my husband. When in doubt, go back to the classics. This is version #2 or #3 of hats that I knit for him this winter, not counting the several times that I ripped back a previous watch cap in Rowan Scottish Tweed DK which was much too bulky and stiff for the pattern.
For this one, I cast on 92 stitches, worked a 2X2 ribbing for 6 1/2 inches on the size 4 needles, then switched to the size 6 circular and worked another 4 inches in stockinette stitch. Then, I slightly modified the pattern by increasing 8 stitches in the body of the hat.
Perfectionist alert: the increase row stands away just enough from the body of the hat to seem that something is amiss. I quashed my perfectionism, plowed on, and hope that the differences in texture will disappear after a first washing. The other modification is the substitution of a raglan decrease for the original pattern's decrease, which was clumped together at the beginning of a row and created a slightly poufy crown to the hat. I decreased at the beginning (SSK) and end (K2tog) of each section on every other row until I was down to about 68 stitches, then decreased every row until there were about 12 stitches left. I cut the yarn, threaded a needle, and finished off the last stitches by drawing them together and then finishing the end inside the hat.
Done in time to go to Canada for the annual fishing trip. The hat, not me.