So I don't know if any of these have been mentioned, as I wanted to post this before I went to sleep, and if so, feel free to just skip over.
Recently I made a hat, my first one adult sized. I've only used long tail cast on or "e" loop cast on? I wasn't sure how much yarn to use, so on a whim I wrapped the yarn around my head where the hat would rest. Pinching the yarn on the working side with my right hand, I dragged the end of the yarn to the ball, clasped it and brought it up to my right hand where it was pinched with the first. I did this two more times, then began casting on from where the last "end" was. Not only did I have enough yarn, but I still had the 6 inch tail after CO long tail 88 sts. I'm going to try this with the size blanket I want, and if it works just as well, then there's a whole step of math I can skip.
I also learned a valuable lesson that some of you may have taken as an "obvious", but I just did not think about. In one of my projects I used very thin and long straight needles. With out thinking, I put them in a bag with my other knitting stuff, and went on about my day. I have a little boy, and those with, or have babysat, young boys know that things get trampled, knocked over, sat on, or run over. One day I pulled out that project to find that my needles were bent.
My dad tried to help by using a pair of pliers to hold the point still and hammer it down. Helped a little, but unless I can find some way to salvage them, I'll need to replace them. So now, whenever possible, I put the needles down the center of the yarn skein, in a tote, and my boys *son and husband* know to stay away from my yarn or feel the wrath of "angry momma dragon".