I LOVE these kinds of patterns! I have a whole collection of "stocking stuffer" type patterns. I can't begin to tell you how many ornaments, cat toys, etc. I've got lying about! At any rate, I can't wait to knit this beauty up! It'll come in handy getting my coffee at the deli every morning. Now I won't burn my hands all the way up to my office!
I agree with Remclave, try the Magic Loop method. It's really simple and works for me every time for small diameter rounds.