Searching around the internet for inspiration and ideas and ran across this vintage pattern.
Its a cute little hat and I'm even considering making it...but the thing that caught my eye was the first instruction:
1. Wind the thread ten times around a large lead-pencil, slip off and fill closely with doubles, 24 in all, join.
What a great way to start a circle!! I have never seen this before. It would give it a little thicker foundation for your motif. I'm definitely going to try this.