When we received the samples for Andorra (at that time only referred to as "Courtney's Yarn"), I knew I wanted to make a hat. Partially because I love knitting hats, but also because I knew the wool and mohair blend would make for an excellent warm, durable, practical accessory.
When swatching, I went a little rogue and went waaay down in needle size to see how the fabric would behave. Normally, we like a yarn with mohair to breathe a little bit to allow for the halo and drape to really shine, but for this hat, I wanted a really dense fabric with structure and warmth. The end result is a design knit at a gauge of 22 sts to 3.125” in pattern. (The gauge is listed in the cable pattern repeat, hence the funky numbers. If you were to do the math, that would translate to a gauge of 28.15 stitches to 4". For reference, most of the designs in the Andorra Collection are knit at a gauge of 24 stitches to 4".)
Although the stitch pattern is pretty easy to memorize, there are a few key elements to the design that would make it great for someone looking to expand their skills. The hat begins with one of my favorite cast ons, the long tail tubular cast on, and the cable chart includes integrated increases at the start of the pattern and integrated decreases at the crown. Since the gauge is both given in the pattern - there is no reason for this design to measure gauge in stockinette stitch, as it is not used anywhere in the design - I also recommend you measure your gauge in pattern. There is a (word heavy, but useful, I promise!) tutorial I wrote for the August Mittens on swatching gauge in cable pattern that is very useful for this design.
The most difficult part of designing this hat was deciding whether or not to add a pom pom. But, I should have known to not second guess myself and to always pom!