It turns out the bottom wasn't that much wider than the top after all, and it still works as a ski cap. I'm pleased with how it came out.
And here it is on my head!
In case you want to try making it yourself, here is the pattern.
You will need:
Worsted-weight yarn (1 skein)
Afghan crochet hook, size H
Regular crochet hook, size H (optional--the afghan crochet hook can also be used like a regular hook, although it is a little awkward)
With regular hook, chain 86. Yarn over and insert hook into 3rd chain from hook. Work the first row of half-double crochet (84 hdc). Chain 2, turn.
Work 3 more rows of hdc (about 2 inches). Switch to afghan hook.
To work the afghan stitch: *insert your hook into the first hdc and pull up a loop. Repeat across (84 loops). Yarn over and pull through the first loop. This is similar to a turning chain. Yarn over again and pull through next 2 loops. Repeat, pulling through 2 loops at a time, until there is only 1 loop left.* This counts as 1 row. Do not turn your work; afghan stitch is always worked on the right side of the fabric.
Next row: insert your hook into the second vertical bar from the end (circled in the photo below). Yarn over and pull up a loop. Repeat across (84 loops). Decrease the same way as above.
Just to clarify, if you are trying this at home and you think it looks backwards: lefties like me work the afghan stitch from left to right. Right-handers work it from right to left.
Work afghan stitch until hat is the length you want (mine has about 3 in of afghan stitch, but it could be longer).
Decrease: Always decrease on the row when you are picking up loops, and then work back to the beginning of the row.
Decrease row 1: *Pick up 5 stitches, insert hook through next 2 loops and pull up 1 stitch (decrease made), repeat from * across.
Decrease row 2 and all even-numbered rows: work across all stitches.
Decrease row 3: *Pick up 4 stitches, decrease, repeat from * across.
Decrease row 5: *Pick up 3 stitches, decrease, repeat from * across.
Decrease row 7: *Pick up 2 stitches, decrease, repeat from * across.
Decrease row 9: *Pick up 1 stitch, decrease, repeat from * across.
Decrease row 11: Decrease all stitches across.
Next row: slip stitch in all remaining stitches and finish off, leaving a long tail for sewing in. Weave the yarn needle through all stitches and pull tight to create the crown of the hat. Sew down the back. The seam on this hat will be pretty visible, so make sure you wear it with the seam in the back.
My next hat is going to be one that my brother requested as a birthday gift...so Johnny, if you don't want spoilers, stop reading the blog for a while. Of course, I'm not going to reveal what else you're getting for your birthday.