This one is all about picking your wool well, much like the shawl I made last year.
Personally, I like chunky things like Sirdar Big Softie, but this formula will work for any wool. A word to the wise though – pick something washable and tactile.
Basically, knit 10 stitches of stocking stitch for about an inch. Measure how wide the swatch is in cms. Measure your head and divide the head measurement by that of the swatch. That’s how many x10 stitches you’ll need (so by example, if my head was 54cm and my swatch was 4cm wide, I would get a number of 13.5 – 135 stitches). Then, you make the number of stitches divisible by 6. I usually go for a lower number than the original (so in the example, I would pick 132 to cast on).
Then, you knit about an inch in rib stitch (if you want a rolled brim, just begin in stocking stitch). Continue in stocking stitch until you have a length of knitting from your eyebrow to your crown.
Begin to decrease on a knit side – (knit 4 k2tog) all the way along the row. P the next row. (Knit 3 k2tog) . P the next row. (Knit 2 2tog) until end. P next row. k1 k2tog to end. P next row. K2tog all the way along and pass thread through remaining stitches to finish. Sew up the seam by grafting.
To this you can add long strips of knitting to make rabbit ears, short triangles for cats, crochet some flowers and stitch them on, add some buttons, line it with fleece or extra squish… the possibilities are endless. Personally, I prefer a good fat wool and some needles to match, but whatever floats your boat, really.