Last night I decided to try a few different increase methods ... wouldn't you know it, the stupid RLI/LLI looked the best. Dammit. So that's what I ended up using after all. I just have a couple of rows left before I join it and go back to working in the round. This is the point in TTV Vol. 1 when I realized it looked terrible and frogged it. Hopefully Vol. 2 will look better.
Note to mouse and other coffee fiends: the cold-brew worked out great! I ground up some good-but-not-gourmet Arabica beans and "brewed" overnight. I did a 2:1:1 ratio of coffee concentrate, cold water, and (soy) milk, then added a 1:1 ratio of frothed concentrate plus (soy) creamer. It's very smooth with no bitterness at all. Crazy.