The pattern, End of May (ravlink), requires light worsted weight yarn and sportweight for the lining, but I was set on knitting it and I only had Merino Style from Knitpicks, which is a DK (I used Iris and Cornflower). I went up a needle size, to 3,75mm, and started it without swatching, with NatureSpun fingering for the lining. Almost the whole time I was working I felt like it would come out too small. Everytime I tried it on the stitches stretched so bad you could almost see the floats on the inside. Halfway through the hat I kind of found my gauge, so the first repeat was way tighter than everything else. You could even see it narrower than the top of the hat. Look with attention, you really can.
And the stitches on the lighter colour, which I was holding on my right hand, look all wonky and even twisted. They're not twisted. I checked. They just look weird. Everything puckered at all directions.
Then I had to sew in the lining.
My handsewing is even worse than my gauge, but I'm content enough that it doesn't show on the outside.
I blocked the hat over a balloon and I'm really happy with the way it looks now. The puckering disappeared, and almost all stitches relaxed a little. Plus, it fits a human head.
If I had to do it again, the only thing I'd change was adding maybe half a repeat to the lenght. As it is, it's kind of a bucket hat with the size of a beanie. I think it's a really cute pattern, very easy and straightforward, regardless of my lack of skills. I also think my lack of skills is a little smaller now, that I got a wearable item at the end, and overcame a childhood shortcoming and finally learned how to tie up a balloon in the process.
The hat will be on the mail as soon as I finish a few other items to send along. (Because a very thick 100% wool hat isn't much Equatorial weather friendly. It's a gift. Wish I could keep it.)