I had a bit of an idea this morning, while waiting for the breakdown recovery man to come and start my car so I could take it to the garage :( that it might be worth trying a swatch of the alpaca with the yarn doubled to see if that got it anywhere closer the 20 stitches per 4" that the hat pattern calls for. The ball band states 25 stitches x 33 rows on 4mm needles, so there was no way that just going up a couple of needle sizes was going to work, and the thought of trying to re-design the hat pattern was quite scary. So, I thought it was worth a shot, and whaddaya know? I ended up with 20 stitches x 25 rows on 4mm needles! The pattern doesn't give a number of rows, so I'll just have to try it and see, but I am quite hopeful. The yarn is so soft and nice to work with (although my trousers did end up looking like the cat had slept on them) and the fabric is thick and, hopefully, will be very warm.
Did a few more rows on the hoodie too, so I've moved my bar.
Also today I got a card through the letter box from Royal Mail saying they've a parcel for me. Yay.
But I have to wait 48 hours before I can go and collect it. Bummer.