Yes, it does looks like a great hat is under construction there.
After reading your question last night, I spent about 4 or 5 dial-up hours downloading Amy's Fair Isle and Intarsia video's. This morning I viewed each of them and thought about your problem on circulars.
As you said in your follow-up, duplicating your stitches would probably be the most direct way of accomplishing the task.
I'd say only if you had a more complex pattern would it be worth considering Fair Isle or Intarsia.
You too might want to check out Amy's video's and decide for yourself.