oK, EVERYTHING IS OK AGAIN. :D
After venting the other day, I sat for a while, picked up the yarn again, and finally learned how to do the long tail cast on which has eluded me forever. Funny, how out of strife can come PROGRESS!
I never could get that double cast on and always did it my old way, which is knitting it on, stitch by stitch. Even with Amy's video, it kept getting tangled and I got two stitches instead of one. Finally, I just started doing it RIGHT and it felt like magic and now I'm flying with it.
Also, started a new hat with the most gorgeous Tahki Donegal green yarn from Ireland. Got tired of looking at patterns and tried this chart: it seems to work very well: You might like it.