So the beanie that I originally knit with a smocked ribbing has now had it's substantial ribbed section ripped and reknit as boring ol' 2x2 rib. The smocked ribbing had to go, it wasn't stretchy enough.
I knit the hat from my own 2ply, sportsweight handspun wool that had been steeping in my stash waiting for the perfect project.
The pattern found through Ravelry and available free, is Charisa Martin Cairn 's Lifestyle Top Down Hats, No Swatch Needed.
I continued the increases until the crown was slightly larger than the recipient's head and then decreased 8 stitches per round 2 times (or was it three?) just before I started the ribbing. I knit the ribbing long enough to fold over twice when being worn.