I finished my sister's tam on the second day (thank God for fast projects!). Just before cutting the yarn to draw it through the last loops, I tried it on. It slipped easily past my forehead and ears and became, well, a hangman's hood, practically. Lovely.
I had wondered if the gauge was right. (The Knitter's Handy Book of Patterns only uses gauges of 4 or 5 on up; my gauge was 4.5... ish.)
I ripped it all out (huzzah for ballwinders!) and started over on the 4-gauge pattern. So far so good, although my knitted cast-on edge is a bit tight for my preferences. I hate the thought of ripping it all back just to redo the cast-on. Think I'll soldier forward instead. The swirly top (one of 3 given top patterns) is just fantastic IMO.
I am loving the Mission Falls 1824 wool (color: Raven a.k.a. black). It is squishy, not too splitty, soft, and God bless them, superwash! Oh, and affordable.