Thank you so much for all your tubular cast-on suggestions for Gretel. I actually went back and followed ysolda's pictorial guide for the 2x2 cast-on, but I don't think I could have confidently done it without studying all your resources first. They really helped me wrap my head around the whole technique. So thank you! Tubular cast-on verdict? Not so bad. A lot of work and time, but doable.
Pushing Daisies shout out: I think the best way to describe my feelings about this series is with a quote from last night's show..."unusual, maybe eccentric in a quaint way, like dessert spoons." And now they've really gone and done it. They had to add knitting to the whimsical mix. Two words: Handgun cozies. This might call for a "I knit with Pushing Daises" Button...what do you think?