Ribbing and guage

would you want a larger needle, for loose fabric, or smaller needles for a tighter ribbed fabric?
a good friend asked my daughter if her mother (me) might be willing to make a Fishermans Hat for him
he does have a fairly large head daughter measures it as 23.5" wife 24" and wife says she had the tape SNUG
now he does not want a fancy Irish fishermans hat with cables and the like, but something warm, maybe double layered, or that can be rolled up to hug the ears better.
I am using WOTA bulky (needle 10-11 recommended) in the color IRISH (I have been making Berets with it)
should I use a size 9 or even 8 to get a tight even rigid hat, or a larger needle to get a loose soft hat that stretches tight
I do want deep firm tight ribbing, but am not sure if what I want is REALLY what I want
am i sounding more flaky than usual?


I think a bulky yarn on size 10s would be good. You want it to stretch a bit, and going down in needle size would probably be too dense.