Originally Posted by suzeeq
I don't know why you seem to want to use the size 4s with the #4/worsted weight yarn. You would normally use a size 7 to 9 with that yarn. The hat is knit denser than normal, so using a size 6 would help. And if you do tend to knit tight (garrote the yarn) then a size 8 would probably do better.
I'd probably start with 8's too. The pattern says US 5's, which I think is what he was using, but that's way too small for my comfort. Even a 6 would be pretty tight. That's what I used on the Hockey Chicken, and it had to hold in stuffing.
I had a tendency to give a little extra tug on the yarn post-stitch (and still
catch myself doing it on purls), but my bigger problem was pulling the yarn down tight before
pulling the stitch through. By the time I did that, the die was cast, so it really didn't matter if I tugged on it after the fact or not. I've managed to pretty much conquer that one, and the difference is nothing short of astonishing.