HC-110, good stuff, all-purpose dev. Yes, mix it straight from the bottle. I use a syringe from the drug store. It will pull it up for you and is great for using small amounts of devs like HC-100, Rodinal or Pyrocat.
I can't say whether you're doing something wrong or not. Some devs just don't click with some people. It can sometimes take several rolls before you hit it.
See also http://www.covingtoninnovations.com/hc110/