It took a couple tries, but I now have a hat for Squid's brother:
A Hat Fit for a Boyfriend
Mission Falls 1824 Wool - Charcoal
size 8 KP circs
cast on 90 sts
extra inch before decreasing for crown section
After all that hat gift knitting, I took a break and did some comfort STR sock knitting. I love how the first sock is not striping at all, though the second sock is starting to look like it'll flash vertically.
Crows Feet by Linda Welch
STR lightweight in Rocktober
size 2.50 mm KP dpns
extra rows in Eye of Partridge heel flap
After recharging my knitting batteries with the sock knitting, I managed to crank out a pair of gift mitts.
Maine Morning Mitts
Noro Silk Garden
size 7 bamboo dpns
However, knitting the Silk Garden reminded me why I have such a love/hate relationship with Noro. Love the colors combos, hate when a knot signifies the arbitrary & capricious change in color sequence. Since I knit this from an orphan skein I bought from The Knitting Basket's closing sale, I didn't have the luxury of mauling another skein to make the mitts match. Am debating if it'll matter or not. Also tempted to keep it for myself 'cause it's...well, Noro.