Are you going to try the gather-up-the one-end technique? I know a way to make a ribbed hat that way by cheating and not doing "real ribbing." The baby hat my daughter came home from the hospital with was made that way. It is just alternating rows (not columns) of stockinette and reverse stockinette (maybe 5 each? I didn't look THAT closely, but can if you need me to!) and then the hat was turned on side, cast on edge seamed to the bound off edge, gathered at one end, and a pom pom put on it. So basically you're working horizontal on something that will later be vertical, and I bet a LOT faster than doing regular ribbing!