Well that was fast.
Fresh off the needles as evidenced by the yarn sitting by my GTA playing model.
I would highly recommend the helical method for a hat so long as you do not mind that by its nature you will end up with a stripe that doesn't quite completely close (you can see I mean by that by the light green that suddenly stops before the decreasing in the dark green). I am not that picky, nor is my recipient so I'm super happy with this super fast project.
That's another Christmas gift done!