After all my concern about not having enough time to make my kid's Halloween costume, it came out way better than I'd ever hoped! My friend found an outfit that matched the hat perfectly, which made the whole thing way more exciting for me. (Owen, at ten months, doesn't yet know from Halloween excitement. But he will. Oh, he will.)
I followed the Dragon Hat pattern by Michele Wilcox for Coats & Clark, with a few modifications. The first I wrote about in my initial post. Second, I made the spikes at the brim of the hat more pronounced by using taller stitches than the pattern called for. Third, I didn't make the tail (instead, I made the outfit). And finally, to save time I didn't crochet the spots, using felt instead. More details are on Ravelry.
I may replace the felt spots on the hat with crocheted ones, so then I can wash the hat. But for now, it's all good.
I hope you had a fabulous Halloween!