Gold all the way!
This is a picture before blocking and sans liner.
(After blocking it looks much less nipply.)
Here are pictures of the decreases at the top while it was blocking this afternoon. Not too shabby for winging it. As you can see in the picture above, it does flare a bit at the bottom. I think if I had gone down a needle size for the hem it would have worked better. I am in the process of writing up the pattern and will be adding a sidebar link to my own patterns.
Yesterday involved much cursing (or as much as you can reasonably approximate with a 3 year old in earshot) while I tried to create a liner for the hat out leftover polar fleece. At first it was too tight around. Okay, cut out the seams and add a new section. Crap - more sewing. Thankfully, the machine has the stretchy stitch selection, cuz well, polar fleece has give.
Then came the time to figure out how to make the tube close at the top with a tich more elegance than just sewing a straight seam across the top. (Next time - no stinking liner) So, I attempted to create 4 , um, lobes, for lack of a better word, by sewing from the top down to the side in a curve on 4 separate seams. Crap - even more sewing. *Have I mentioned how much I hate sewing?*
Needless to say, this process nor the result were recorded. Mostly to salve my ego, because there is no way I am letting the world see pictures of such mediocre sewing skills.
All in all, I am happy with the results. I think I will knit this again sometime, but the rest of the the Elann's Peruvian Highland is definately going into the felting stash, it is waaay to itchy for me to wear next to my skin.