My newest project was a hat made to copycat the Janie and Jack Hat that a friend ordered as a "Custom Crochet" auction item. I had no info to go on other than the picture and the closeup was too blurry to be able to decipher the stitch pattern. I could tell it was a fairly fine yarn, but as I detest thread crochet I decided to go with a slightly heavier yarn. I ended up purchasing 3 skeins of a DK weight, mercerized cotton yarn Elann Sonata in the appropriate colors (Rosetta, Pink Pearl and Light Sage to be exact). This was my first internet yarn purchase and I was very pleased. The yarn arrived VERY quickly and looked even better in person! I really loved this yarn. Its got a little sheen to it, its very firm, but with a loose crochet its very soft and stretchy. It holds its shape very nicely - just what I was looking for in a yarn! Plus it was cheap; what more could I ask for?!
I ended up working the hat in brick stitch using a size H hook (I think). It was a little challenging figuring out how to do the brick stitch in the round, but I came up with something workable by turning at the start of every round and sticking in a chain to get to the next starting spot. Increases were also challenging, and I'm not really sure I can remember exactly how I did them - I know that I was working stitches between other stitches - it worked itself out! The flower appliqué was based on this pattern, but modified to make an eight petal flower like the original hat.
The hat was made for the 24 mo+ range, and was able to fit my almost 3 year old's big head, so I'm not concerned about it being too small for the recipient!