Okay, I'm actually seeing a hat form out of this mess of yarn! I wanted to show you how the top of the hat looks because I knitted from the top down.
The reason why this is interesting is because the original pattern calls for the hat to be knitted from the brim down. I did increases to widen the hat from the top and I like the way it looks. Some of the hats I've seen others do have the decreases showing and the spiral on top of the hat is much more pronounced to see.
The other thing that I liked about knitting from the top down is that I was able to do the whole thing on circular needles and don't have to go back and sew the flaps on the hat. Look at this photo.
I just went strait into knitting the ear flap and the i-cord with my double point needles (which you need for the i-cord).
Then on the other side, I have my circular needles holding the stitches for the other earflap.
I probably should have a holder there, but the needles are working just fine for now.
I also wanted to show you how the cast-off looks next to the earflap.
This is where I think the look can really be different from the original pattern. The brim now has a very distinct border (since the pattern knits from the brim up, you have a softer edge because it's a cast-on edge).
I still have problems keeping track of the seed stitch on the ear flaps - it's so much easier to do it in the round. I'll eventually figure it out, but for now, I am pretty happy with the way the hat looks. Frogging it before was a difficult thing for me to do, but I'm now glad I did it. The hat looks WAY better and I feel good about how it looks.
I need to figure out what I'm going to knit for the knitting Olympics. I'm thinking alligator gloves from Stitch 'n Bitch Nation. From the Google searches, though, I think I'm going to have to change the pattern up a bit. I hate to sew pieces together (because invariably it never gets done) so I am going to try to knit this like a toe up sock. I'll try to keep photo's if I do them.