So eventually I gave in, partially because I'd got a new yarn in and wanted to see how it knitted up. It is called Rainbow Multi by"Creative Yarns uk"
It took much botching to ensure that the two earflaps looked the same, using this self-patterning yarn. But after that it didn't much matter what the yarn did.
I even had enough yarn left at the end to make a short scarf too. This was only a 100 gram ball so quite a big surprise to me.
Well, my daughter likes her hat - and even I think it didn't turn out TOO ugly. Quite proud of it in fact.