Originally my plan was to do three repeats of Clustered Cable or Cable Check, pg 274, then move into Coral Knit Stitch, pg 130 and use its property of lateral spread to make a slouchy hat. As I did the Clustered Cable, it became apparent that the cast on edge was a bit unsightly and waved up and down, distorting the first pattern repeat. I decided to cast off after the third repeat to make a nicer edge, then pick up from the cast on edge to do the Coral Knit. I realized after I had started the Coral Knit that three repeats of the Clustered Cable was too many, but two wouldn’t be enough so I flipped the whole concept upside down.
I had to use Jeny’s surprisingly stretch bind off so that the bottom edge of the Coral Knit would not pull in. I then took out my cast off again and finished the hat in Clustered Cable.
Clustered Cable has a 12 stitch/8 row repeat with 6-stitch blocks of cables alternating with 6-stitch blocks of reverse stockinette. To get rid of the stitches, I did a k2togtbl on one side of each cable block and a k2tog on the other, for the reverse stockinette blocks I did a p2tog at each side. This decreased my number of stitches by 40 (to 80). I now had 4-stitch blocks so I did the cabling over 6 rows instead of 8. I did a full repeat of the pattern, then decreased again giving me 2-stitch blocks, decreasing my stitches by 40 again (to 40). On the second row, I did a knit into second stitch then first stitch instead of a cable, then did another row. After these, I did k2tog, p2tog around to get down to 20 stitches, which I got rid of over the next 3 rows.