First, I ignored the instructions, and it looked like this:
Lesson learned: smaller needles for the band are your friend.
Plus, when I finished it was way too big. Not just the band; the whole thing. It looked like I should be stuffing my dreadlooks in it and singing "Buffalo Soldier." Not cool. (Also not pictured, so use your imagination).
Sooo...I did a little surgery.
Hold your breath; are you ready to see the carnage?
Yeah, I chopped that up. It was drastic, I know, but there was no #$%!ing way I was going to pick out every single insidious little stitch if I ripped back from the cast-on edge, and also no way I was going to rip and reknit, so chop chop. I cut off a good two inches, including the accursed band, and then picked out the bits of fluff and picked up the resulting live stitches (hooray for extremely sticky, fuzzy wool yarn). A little messy and there were a few stray ends, but I just tacked them down and you can't tell the difference. Hah!
I knit a couple of rounds to get myself settled, decreasing rapidly as I did so--except not quite rapidly enough because when I finished the ribbed band v2.0 (on the proper size of needles this time!), the hat fit...but the band was still too loose.
(At this point, fed up with the whole thing, I wore the hat for a couple of days and attempted to convince myself that it fit just fine, and that the band wasn't too loose, and it was SUPPOSED to slip off my ears like that. My mother, fed up with my constantly debating out loud, made the decision for me. "If it's going to bug you that much, just fix it!")
Enter the elastic (gold because it's all I had, not because I like the bling. Well, kind of that too).
Which was fine for about fifteen minutes, after which I decided it bugged me, and since I had some yarn left I should go ahead and knit a facing for it (next on the slate for Skills to Learn: Quitting While You're Ahead).
So I picked up stitches around the bottom of the ribbing, knit in stockinette for an inch, cast off, sewed the facing down, and because the cast-off was so tight I couldn't get it over my head. (No pictures here either, because I was too busy screaming into a pillow to go find my camera).
But after awhile, I picked myself up off the couch, gritted my teeth, picked out the $&%^#@!!! seam, picked out the cast-on, sewed the resulting live stitches to the inside of the hat (yeaaaah, sticky yarn!) and...
I have a hat.
It caused me no end of (entirely self-inflicted) grief, it took about twice as long as it should have, and if I am entirely honest it's actually a little tight around the ears, but I'm ignoring that.
But I think it's a cute hat.
Pattern: two thumbs up.
Yarn (Noro Cash Iroha): One and a half thumbs up; gains points for great color, shine, and and refusal to drop live stitches. Loses points for extreme thick-and-thinness in places that made cabling a wee bit tricky.
Knitter: TWO THUMBS DOWN.
But I have a cute hat!