I've knitted a few items that have turned out pretty good but I'm embarrassed to say that I haven't mastered the basic beanie. Since my formal instruction consisted of "measure head, cast on, knit, decrease at the crown" I think I may have missed a trick or two. I've searched through patterns too, but still wasn't trusting them to give me what I want.
Yesterday I came across woollywormhead, a British site dedicated to knit hats. Love the patterns (some are free), and they give some advice that I'm hoping will solve my dilemma. It never occurred to me that part of the problem might be the cast-on. I think I'll try their Chunkeanie first but I want to do it in worsted weight -- so I'm expecting a struggle to adapt the measurements.
I spent some time last night trying to master the tubular long-tail cast-on but I'm just not getting it somehow. The cable cast-on, however, was easy. It may do the trick if I can keep it from getting too tight.
The project is a hat for my partner's oldest boy. He's a German football fan so I'm incorporating stripes in the colors of the flag on a grey field.
When I started knitting last year, the main thing I wanted to do was knit beanies... so here I go again.