The llama/silk blend just wasn’t right for the pattern. It’s very soft and drapy, and the cables just didn’t pop the way they were supposed to. I made it through row 17 before this realization.
Plus, I really need to learn how to cable without the cable needle before I try this hat again.
The tubular cast on was pretty, though.
So I am back to socks. I put myself to sleep last night mentally combing through my stash and various patterns, and I think I found a winning combination. Once I frog this hat I’ll get casting on.