I just finished my 7th strip: 2 each of strips 1 & 3, 3 of strip 2 knit. For those of you wondering about yarn consumption, I have started my 2nd skeins of indigo and sable, but still have a bit of grey heather left. I think if you knit in long strips, you could use only 2 skeins of color E, especially if you are willing to be flexible in which color is used for assembling the strips.
It will be somewhat close for the indigo, but I think I will win at yarn chicken.
As for entertainment while knitting, I find I can easily work on this at knit group or while watching TV. My audiobooks these days are in the Outlander series (I turn it down when my husband walks by -- I don't think he realizes how steamy these novels are).