My new hat is finished! This was such an enjoyable project! And I even like the way it looks on me, though you'll have to wait for a picture of me in it until I can get someone else to take a picture for me.
I did make a few minor modifications to the pattern. Because I have a big head, I added an inch and half to the length of the cabled band. Once the stitches were picked up on either side of the band, they were to be knit in reverse stockinette, but I'm not so fond of that look so knit it with the stockinette stitch facing out. I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out and the way it fits, though if I were to knit another one for myself, I'd probably knit the stockinette portion about 1/2" to 1" longer before decreasing for the top, just to help it cover my ears a bit better.
If you are like me and want to see the top of the hat as well, here it is!