Using a slightly larger yarn made all the difference in getting a hat that would fit my big giant head. I love it and wish I was a hat girl because I would be knitting all the color work hats if I was.
Merrily was right, of course. The blocking fixed the wonkiness with the stitches and made everything fabulous. I am so glad that I used two different techniques for this hat. Now I know what works for me. With luck, this will come in handy later.