You're right about doing fancy hats - I've had my eye on a particular (free) pattern for a while and last night decided to give it a go (photo later, promise) - and it has taken me a little while longer to make than one of the 'plain' hats.
I'm so glad you mentioned stripes as well because you jogged my memory about a post I put on the Forum some while ago and had totally forgotten about. It's a new way of knitting stripes and is known as a jogless jog.
Here's the link
I know what you mean too about what is regarded as 'white' - I have lots of what people would think of as Aran yarn - the cream coloured wool used in Aran patterns.
I'll check that later when I contact Save the Children but if you use the ecru colour along with a different colour, it will be fine. I also think that the ecru would make a great 'base' colour for hats, depending of course on how much you have in your stash.
Thanks so much for 'jogging' my memory
and thank you again for your time and effort. Your hats are just lovely and I very much appreciate your spending time knitting them.