Yesterday I got through the 2x1 2" ribbing and increased the appropriate number of stitches going into the "cluster" section. I gave in and purchased the US3 circular before catching the train home. The 3rd and 4th rows of the cluster pattern went alright - except when i started to do row 7 I realized I had done row 4 *slightly* wrong. So I did what I sometimes do best - I ripped it all the back to row 3 - because it was easier to grab the stitches from row 2 rather than the decreases on row 3. I started again this morning and got *successfully* through rows 3 &4 and am on the st-st'ing of 5 & 6. More clusters tonight on the way home. Hooray!
The benefit of having purchased the 2nd US3 circular was that I could transfer off half the stitches to the other needle last night and measure to make sure the gauge was right - so far so good...but will it fit?!?!
Also, I've decided to make some socks as gifts instead of all hats - should starve off the boredom - although the two hats I did last weekend went super fast.