I spent a little time recently figuring out how to knit a ribbed beanie from the top down. You know me, fit is everything, and swatchless is even better. I wrote up the directions to share. See the right sidebar for a link to the free pattern.
Sticking with what works, I knit this with two color ways, alternating colorway every two rows.
Pattern: built on my Lifestyle Hats Top Down Method, available for free here.
Yarn: Armytage by Sierra Crafts (bulky, single ply with gradient colorways, 1 blue, 1 green)
Needles: US 7
The hat took less than 1/3rd of each ball.
Seems like lots of folk like the simple things in life. Within hours of placing this pattern on Ravelry, 68 people had favorited the pattern, and 79 people downloaded it. I have this hat on my head right now, and it feels like it's destined to become a favorite.