First of all, Happy Birthday, Gena.
I left out the details of my calorimetry in my last post. I'd heard from other knitters that it's a challenge to get the sizing right if you don't have the perfect gauge. So, I just started casting on stitches and stretching the cast-on edge as I went to guesstimate the number of stitches needed. I ended up casting on 60 stitches (on a size 9 needle) because I wanted a nice snug fit (no slippage, please) and I didn't know how far 55 meters of yarn was going to go. The fit is good, but I almost wish I'd gone with 64 stitches! Do note that I'm a really loose knitter so anyone using the same yarn/needles will probably need anywhere from 10-20% more stitches.
I gave it a test drive this moring on my walk to work, and I am in love. It still has that heady sheep/acetic acid smell that makes me think of wonderful places (yarn stores, of course). My ears weren't the least bit cold after I got to work and realized I'd left my badge on the coffee table. They were still toastywarm when I got back home to retrieve said badge. And when I finally arrived at work and realized I'd left my lunch at home (when I went to fetch the badge) my ears were still totally cozy. At that point I decided I wasn't walking back home for lunch and just had delicious chilli for dinner instead.
In other news - I have plane tickets to return home for Christmas! I cannot even explain how giddy this makes me!