I have an unrelated hate for garter stitch as well.
Double knitting will cure some of those issues you have.
Stranding with woven back is my specialty, I guess. So that is my prefered method these days for any color work.
I am also (on and off) working on methods of stranding with big blank parts in between, where usually you would use intarsia. I will at some point take the time to make a true sample and work it out and then publish that idea (It will make the stranding easier and more stretchy). But some time.... that is the problem.
Have fun with the double knitting.
I do, by the way, own very short circs (the needle tips themselves are shorter and the cable is the minimum needed). But you know what: They are still too long for socks (I thought I had it right there). So they will be for gloves as well. But for legwarmers or sleeves or such... they might work great.
The problem is the needle that is not easy to handle if it is too short. And the cable needs to connect those needles and has to have a minimum length.
Some cure for your rolling issues might be this here:
It is in my blog there. I do not know if it existed previously but I think I kind of came up with it, using one-color double knitting or knitting in the round on straight needles with a twist of not doing it all the way across.... you'll get it if you see it!