. . .I made a startling discovery: there seemed to be some gaps at the beginning/end of the round. I puzzled over this and didn't even take the time to google or call my knitting goddess. I think what I did at the end of some rounds was turn around and knit back again, without continuing forward to knit a new round, thus joining the two ends.
Knitting is not my native genre. It is confusing to me - how to match up needles, yarn weights, and patterns; how to spot and fix mistakes; how to ensure that I end up with a wearable, useful thing after all those hours and hours of knitting that resulted in millimeters of progress. . .
I reduced those few inches of hat to a ball of yarn again. I turned with a sigh of relief to a dishcloth and my sewing machine. I'll try again next winter to knit something that challenges me (and I still have socks to finish!).