I think it was one of Erica Lea's tweets that lead me to this post on Knitting Glasses. I pictured it in a pale alpaca yarn, stitched to be extra slouchy and super soft, a bit more beret than stocking hat. The whole time thinking of my friend who has a birthday shortly after Christmas. I put off starting until after Christmas because the band looked complicated. I followed the link in the pattern to the tutorial video and realized it was actually pretty easy. The hat came together quickly, especially once I was past the smocking.
The pattern called for switching needle sizes, but I used 3.25 needles for the entire project. That kept the bottom band from getting too tight.
Then came the always so anxious moment of giving the gift. No need to worry, she loves it.