Every once in a while I'm extremely happy with a finished project. This is one of those rare times.
I first queued Jared Flood's Laurel pattern when it was published more than a year ago. I didn't have access to the original pattern booklet, so I had to wait until it became available as a PDF in April 2010. Around this time I bought and downloaded it. Then at some point I changed my mind and dropped it from my queue until recently when I, for a reason I don't remember, again decided I wanted to knit it, anyway. One of the reasons probably was that I thought it might look good in the grey Berroco Ultra Alpaca I bought on my Canada trip.
Fairly early on I noticed a couple of errors in the pattern that were not mentioned in the official errata. I don't believe I was the first person to notice, though, since this hat has already been knit hundreds of times by other people. The errors were nothing I couldn't figure out on my own, though. Despite being very cable (and bobble) heavy, I found it a very enjoyable project. Even if the most heavily cabled rows took me half an hour each to complete. I did most of the cables without a cable needle, expect the cable that asks for two cables needles. With that one I used one cable needle and did part of it without (put the first two stitches on a cable needle, knit the next three without, then knitted the two off the CN). I'm not sure if my bobbles look exactly the way they are supposed to, but I think they are OK.
Originally I was going to block this to a tam shape. But when I tried on the unblocked hat, I liked the slightly loose beanie style so much I decided to keep it that way. I just wetblocked it on a flat surface, no stretching instruments, only a little pulling here and there with my fingers while it was drying. I can always reblock it later, but I figured it's easier to go from a beanie to a tam than vice versa.