Finished! Learning to knit Continental style made a huge difference.
Double knitting is some kind of magic. You're basically knitting 1-1 ribbing with alternating colors. Because the ribbing is so small, each side looks like stockinette.
I'm really thrilled with the way it turned out, although I admit that I'm not ready to start another double knitting project yet. It took fifteen minutes per round, and, probably because I'm new to holding the yarn Continental style, it made my hands hurt. It was worth it though! I think the recipient will really like it... and if she doesn't, I hope she lies to me.