Thanks for the compliments, everyone!
Porfiry and rabideloise, I was lucky enough to find pretty much the exact yarn listed in the book, superwash 100% merino wool. They were low on shipment at my LYS that day, and had little supply of the yarn, so I settled with the rosy pink colour. porfiry, the hat wasn't difficult at all. I was afraid of making cables for the first time, but they're super-easy.
Lynn, yeah, they are pretty much all required.
I had some size 9 dpns that I used for the top hat shaping(and what poordumbbird said is right, you CAN use dpns all the way through if you wish), but yes, there's no real way around it otherwise that I could find out. If I'm wrong, prove me wrong!
bkknits29, I didn't use any elastic. The bit of ribbing at the rim of the hat acts as a bit of an elastic, all the elastic you need. The only extra thing I needed was the plastic mesh to give the brim a bit of stiffness(but that's included in the pattern materials in the book).
Thanks again! I love making hats.