I found the pattern for the hat over at Eskimimis Knits. I decided to make 2 in alternating color ways. One would be blue with a creamy white band and the other would be creamy white with a blue band. I had some problems understanding Eskimimis instructions so I emailed her and got a quick response with a drawing too.
After my questions were answered, I went on the yarn hunt. The yarn requirements were such that the hats could easily be washed without dry cleaning and the itch factor was zero - I hate wool that itches; I chose blue and creamy white to match the squall coats that they had recently purchased. I ended up with washable wool/poly blend. I purchased 2 skeins of each color so I can also knit a color matching scarf.
Now that I had the yarn, I started to knit, I did a gauge swatch and adjusted the number of stitches to be cast on but I restarted the first hat twice to make sure the hats would fit both Mike and Elisa, that way they could be worn by either person.
The other pattern change I made was to start both ear flaps and work my way up from there to the point. Eskimimis instructions have you start with the band, knit up to the point and then down from the band to make the ear flaps.
It took 2 weeks (3 weekends) to knit the hats as I was only knitting at night when I got home from work and was watching the television, which means I was only knitting about half the time.
Two weeks ago the completed hats were mailed across the pond and of course it took a week to get up to Scotland.
Here are the pictures of Mike being a winter Gnome. (click on a picture to see a larger image and you can scroll to the next images from the pop up viewer)