This hat has been done since Monday as well. I started with one pattern in mind, then began experimenting: knit from the bottom up instead of top down, provisional cast on, added Fair Isle, knit ear flaps like short row sock toes, etc. I'm amazed it's finished AND I am pleased with the result (although, like some of my other Fair Isle hats, this one is a bit snug).
Pattern: Based on Amelia E., by Amy Miller
Yarn: Cascade 220 Superwash, colorways 816 (Gray), 854 (Navy), 253 (Desert Sun)
Modifications: A LOT!
Amelia E. is knit top down, but I didn't like trying to knit 8 cast-on stitches in the round. I didn't want to pick up stitches for the ear flaps, though, so I provisionally cast on 100 stitches. Then I embellished the plain stockinette with Fair Isle designs. At the crown, I decreased four stitches evenly, then started each section with a k1, ssk and ended each section with a k2tog, with a round of plain knit between decrease rounds.
Back at the lower edge, I picked up and purled a round so I could hem the bottom. And then I get confused. Somehow I ended up with a hem (good) while maintaining 26 or so stitches for each ear flap (also good, but I had to change the purl stitches to knit to eliminate an unsightly ridge). I tried knitting the ear flaps like sock toes, but there were major gaps between the fronts and backs of each one. So I reknit them, like short row sock toes, with the tip being 4 stitches wide. Then I sewed down the hem.
Instead of my usual i-cord tassels, I braided like I braided 4-strand lanyards at summer camp: wrap rightmost strand under two and over one, wrap leftmost strand under two and over one, repeat ad infinitum (or 12", whichever comes first). Each "strand" was actually two strands of yarn, with half in gray, a quarter in navy, the rest in orange.
I knit this hat before discovering this KnitPicks tutorial. Some of the floats are a bit longish. Since the yarn is superwash, no felting is going to help anchor them. Hope the recipient treats this hat gently.
And now I am DONE with xmas knitting!