I finished the i-cord as instructed but found it tedious (and blinding) to pick up the stitches to begin the body. So I'm going to use Holly's technique in which she used the i-cord bind off after she knit the body. I learned a new technique in the process, the provisional cast on. Knitting at Noon has a great video showing one version. It took a while to develop some speed, and there may be easier ways to cast on provisionally, but I'm eager to get Mermaid underway. (Addendum: Eunny has beautifully photographed and annotated this and other cast ons on her blog. It's a must see. The entry is entitled "Casting On for Lace," but these methods can be used for other kinds of knitting projects too.)
I couldn't resist winding one of the hanks Friday night and beginning the cuff. I have a meeting to attend Monday morning at which I may be able to knit a few rows. Mermaid and instructions are too cumbersome to cart around.
Thanks to Maeve at Knitting Musings, I got the code for the progress bars I added to the site yesterday. Need to add a calendar and figure out how to add left sidebar next.