Then sometime between last hat season and this, it disappeared. I don't remember seeing it when I cleaned the mudroom over the summer (I don't remember not seeing it, either), and since then I've cleaned the entire house, top to almost bottom, so unless it's lurking in the basement somewhere, it's gone. I suspect that it got jealous of this hat, with which it had to share my head last winter, and went off to find a new home. It should have known I always have room on my head, and in my heart, for another hat.
When it became clear the hat wasn't coming back, I picked up a skein of yarn and made a new one.
I normally wouldn't choose such dark, or such neutral, colors, but I had a hankering for an autumnal-hued head-warmer, in part to go with my bright orange fall jacket, and this skein of yarn called out to me the moment I walked into the yarn store—I liked the sunset/night sky/autumn leaves feel of it. This hat knit up a lot faster than the last one, with ten more years' knitting experience (at an average of six projects per year, I'm happy to report) under my belt. I don't love it quite as much as I loved the lost one, and I wish I'd started the decreases two rounds earlier, but it's a pretty good hat, and I think it will grow on me.
Ravelry notes, such as they are, are here.