Sometimes, for me, knitting seems to be a biological imperative. A while ago, we were driving to Toronto and it started to get dark. The only knitting I had was this hat, and I really wanted to keep knitting. I decided that I would keep going and if I screwed it up, I could rip it out when we got there and there was light. I was amazed that I could actually tell when the cables were ready and that I could still manipulate the stitches on a dark highway in the middle of nowhere. It turned out that when we got there, it was all OK and I only had to do the decreasing and the topper. Granted, they are pretty simple cables.
I was again playing with how the colours come out from the variegated yarn. This is another colourway in Patons Classic Wool. In this hat, instead of separating out like they did in the hats in the Playing with Variegated Yarn post, they overlap in swirls According to my notes, I cast on 10 fewer stitches for this hat (100 stitches) than the ones where the colours separated.
I tried this other hat with yet fewer stitches (96..so more overlap), but it is getting small for an adult. You can see it was too small for the bowl we had used to display all the other hats. It would be fine for kids though. You really are limited in how many stitches a) will work for your hat and b) will give you the effect you want.
I was trying to branch out a bit on the topper, so I used an idea which I modified from (I think) Knitting on the Edge, but I can’t find my copy to double check. It makes spirals. I started the topper when I had decreased to 21 stitches. I started with the first three live stitches, did a slip 1, k2tog, psso, then cast on another 11. I then knit all 12 back to the base and then, on the next row out, I did a k1, p1, k1 in each stitch. Finally, I cast off as I returned back to the base. I went down to 1 stitch at the base, picked up two more live stitches did the s1, k2tog, psso and cast on another 11, etc. I kept doing this, picking up stitches until I ran out of live stitches (10 swirls). The whole thing was corralled to make it hang together in a similar manner to the i-cord rose. I find you may have to play with the arms so the spirals will straighten up and fly right…oops I mean curl up and lie right.