Yarn: Noro Silk Garden, 2 balls
Needles: 4.5mm ( US 7) double pointed needles, and short circular needles (also 4.5mm).
Starting at the center top of the hat, using the double point needles, cast on 4 sts. Round 1: knit into the front and back of each stitch. (8 sts). Place markers between each of the eight stitches * making the end of row marker different from the rest*. Round 2: Knit front and back of each stitch (24 sts)
Round 3: [Knit front and back of next stitch, knit one] repeat to end of round.
Round 4: Knit every stitch.
Round 5: [Knit front and back of next stitch, knit to marker] repeat to end of round.
Continue with round 4 & 5 increasing every other row, until work measures about 11 inches in diameter. (switch to circular needle when double points get too full) ( I found measuring from the center to the edge and reaching 5.5 inches was easier - it can be tough to smooth the knitted fabric enough to measure)
Work even for 6 rows.
Start decreases, by alternating the decrease row: [knit 2 together, knit to marker] repeat to end of round... with a plain knit row.
Continue to decrease every other row until 3 inches of decrease have been worked.
Removing all markers except the end of row one, [K2, p2] across row (increase or decrease at end of row if stitches do not divide by 4) and continue to work 2 by 2 ribbing for 6 rows. Bind off in ribbing loosely.
Felting: Before washing, find some all acrylic yarn in your stash and measure your head size (mine was 21 inches) Cut acrylic yarn about 23 inches and using a darning needle, weave it through the ribbing about every 2 stitches, join by tying together securely so that the ribbed band is securely 21 inches around. *** this is important so that the band does not stretch out of shape during felting.Put through one full hot - regular wash, (it's good to throw a couple of old towels in with the hat - but put the hat in a mesh delicates bag). If not shrunk enough to fit, try one more round in the wash. Hand shape and allow to dry then carefully pick out the acrylic yarn stay.