Help with a hat pattern?

So I’m knitting my first hat for my stepmom, and I showed her a bunch of patterns that I could do, and she picked out this pattern, but she said instead of the lace-y holes, she’d rather have it raised. So I thought I could just knit it in stockinette in the round, and then just purl the squares to make it raised. But then I thought that might screw up the decreases and such, since its not supposed to be that way. Will my idea work? Or should I just alter a basic stockinette hat pattern?

I think you can do that. To me it looks like the lace pattern is done within the squares. So if you just purl it instead of working the lace pattern it should work.