The baby pirate hat is finished - icord around the edges and a good blocking on a cereal bowl worked wonders for both the evenness of the colorwork and the curling of the earflaps.
Db was obliging enough to model the hat - and I do mean obliging, since she absolutely hates having anything on her head. It's a bit large for her eight week old head - I figure it's about the right size for a three month old, which is about what I was going for, amazingly enough.
Basically, I knit this free earflap hat pattern
on 100 stitches (the jolly roger is a 20 stitch pattern from this pattern: http://cmeknit.blogspot.com/2006/10/skull-flap-hat.html) and made these few modifications which make sense if read alongside the original pattern:
I used Zara (salmon) and Aurora 8 (gray); it was exactly enough Aurora 8 - hardly any leftovers. Knitting the hat with two colors of Zara would be safer since Zara has more yardage. I knit the non-fairisle parts of the hat on threes and the fairisle on fives. Gauge for the threes was 6 stitches per inch and gauge for the fives was 7 stitches per inch.
Increase to 19 stitches for the earflaps; after knitting both earflaps, cast on 15, knit the first earflap, cast on 36, knit the second earflap, cast on 15, join to work in round. 104 stitches (which becomes 100 stitches after one round if you follow pattern's advice of k2tog four times on the first round after the join). Begin working the jolly roger motif after knitting two or so rounds in the base color.
After the jolly roger motif is finished, knit one or two rounds in base color and then decrease every other round as indicated in the pattern (knitting a round in between every decrease round) until there are 68 stitches on the needle; then decrease every round until 5 (?) stitches remain.
Finish with 3-stitch applied i-cord; tassels are 4-stitch i-cord.