Though I wasn’t asking for advice with my Fourth Time the Charm? post, I got a very good tip from Soren. I had pointed out I was getting gauge, but that I had to modify the pattern to get a large enough hat.
Soren told me that a common method for increasing size in Fair Isle knitting is to change your gauge. This is even stated in the We Call Them Pirates pattern, but I had missed that. I think I may have been blind to the notion because I had to make a special budget allowance just to get the needles called for in the pattern, and to buy new needles because I need a different gauge is actually a burden on our finances.
Still, I think I’m going to dig into the deepest recesses of our pockets and see if I can come up with the money. Some quick tests (on straight needles, and circulars of inappropriate length for the hat) suggests that size 6 (instead of the 3) will give me a gauge that will produce a wearable hat.