This totally should have been a complete failure. It was a yogurt do. Here's what happened.
First off, someone used part of my half-gallon of whole milk. So I had to use approximately half whole milk (that sounds weird!) and half of my watered-down whole milk, which we use daily.
Second, I did not unplug my crock pot after two and a half hours. I thought I did, but I was mistaken. When I finally unplugged it, at least another hour had passed. After consulting a friend, I planned to let the milk cool for four hours instead of the usual three. But I had to leave the house for a few hours, and I'd miss the timing to mix in the half-cup of yogurt (starter). So I only cooled the milk for three hours and then mixed in the starter.
As you can see, I'm breaking rules all over the place. I figured I'd just see what happened.
Due to all the extra time, I had to get up at 1 AM to pour the yogurt into containers and refrigerate. Right away, I noticed it seemed thicker than my earlier batches. This was an interesting development.
This morning, when Tiny Girl and I took a peek, we were delighted with the results. My homemade yogurt resembles more closely store-bought yogurt in thickness. For Tiny Girl's breakfast, we chopped up some maraschino cherries (her choice) and stirred them in a small bowl of plain yogurt. She deemed it not sweet enough, so we added some sugar. Twice. (!!!!!)
I'd expected a total loss, but have now decided to change my original recipe. Since this kind of thing rarely happens to me kitchen-wise (total losses are nothing new), I'm thrilled!