Knitting stripes and lace while slipping a few choice stitches produces color work lace without any of the stranding. Working it in the round makes it even easier because all of your slipped stitches keep their yarn in back. You have to pay attention to what you are doing, but it isn't exactly hard.
Functionally, the combination of lace and solid work creates a piece that is perfect for the transitions between the seasons - a hat for those times in the spring and fall where it is not quite cold enough to require a full stocking hat and not quite warm enough to go without. These are my favorite times of the year - fair weather times.
There are instructions in the pattern on how to make the hat more of a "slouch" which will effect your yardage. But the basic instructions take between 80 and 100 yards of each color.