This is much better now. I ripped back to get rid of some of the decreases, did some more math, and re-knit. Simple stockinette with a seed stitch brim. Mailed both hats off to my mom - I hope they fit!
I have some lovely brown Knitpicks Decadence with which I hope to knit myself a cabled top-down hat. I've been thinking about it for a while but wasn't sure how the cables would work with the increases. The practice from these hats, especially the ribbed one, have made it a little more clear. It'll still take a bit of fiddling and adjusting but at least now I have a better idea. I think.