Getting purly with it led me through the process over 9 sts:
Yup! Pretty straight forward. I discovered it's a lot like what I was doing here, only when I tried applying that pattern, for some reason, it didn't look right. I'll be referring back to Nancy's blog for some other patterns and tutorials, too. She's got some great things over there.
row 1: slip 3 on to cable needle, knit 3, knit 3 from needle, knit 3 more, purl 1. repeat.
row 2 + 3 + 4: knit all knits and purl all purls!
row 5: knit 3, slip 3 onto cable needle, knit 3, knit 3 from needle, purl 1. repeat.
Thanks to all the others who suggested patterns and techniques. They all led me to a fun experimental piece. Now I've just got to pick up some yarn to make the real hat and we'll be rolling!