I did end up sizing down the back considerably (did about 13 rows rather than 19 on the two back panels), because big honkers + small back = ... yeah. I probably could have taken it in a bit more in the back, but oh well, I didn't want to remake it a third time.
I never could figure out the "ruffles" on this, when I did the bottom as the pattern said and "evenly" to me came out like this. Oh, whatever....
I've always wanted to get ahold of some of this semi-mythical stuff (which I've heard of online and never seen in real life), especially if I ever had a giant wall to paint or something. But according to this link, you can make your own... with THE SAME SORT OF STUFF YOU MAKE MOSAICS OUT OF. Use unsanded rather than sanded grout, but...
It needs blocking (when I get home, I finished it on my last night of vacation) and I need to add in a lining, but....
Voila. Proof. After ten billion posts on this... I first started attempting it in September 2008, so it's been three years of restarting it over and over and over again. Damn. I did this attempt in exactly three months, though one month was pretty much taken off after the biggest frogging I had to do on the project. Which was a good idea so I could detox from it.
Basically, the problem was:
(a) the pattern is not written out so uh, comprehensibly. Someone on Ravelry-- I cannot find where this was done originally or by who in my mailbox right, argh-- rewrote it out and sent me a copy when I asked. I have her name written down as Cary, but no clue on her Ravelry username at the moment. So while I can't helpfully pass on her name to anyone else who has issues with this pattern...uh, search around and ask? I guess?
Cary, THANK YOU. I couldn't have done it without you.
(b) Making a skirt from the bottom up is... really freaking hard. I honestly don't know why the designer did it like that, but sometimes I wondered if I'd do better increasing and going down rather than starting at the hardest point and largest point every time.
(c) I apparently have this problem: when I try to do regular decreases on a project, I uh... apparently drop stitches, or lose stitches, or decrease at the wrong time or too many times or SOMETHING. (It especially sucks when you dropped a stitch when purling, because you don't notice it.) So I would screw this thing up constantly.
(d) Most of the time I was doing this with my Knit Denise set, which is awesome, but one of my size 5 needles is a wee bit defective and keeps twisting itself off all the time. (Making a double-long cord with that set also tended to fall apart a wee bit under stress. Which, by the way, casting on with size 5 stitches totally does stress. The needles kept coming apart, and it's very hard to poke through those tiny stitches to put the needle back together over and over again.
How I fixed this stuff:
(a) Got the revised pattern, as said above.
(b) Caved in and bought a set of size 5 needles dedicated only to this project, that didn't fall apart all the time.
(c) Made an Excel document of exactly HOW MANY stitches were in every section of every row after the decreases/shifts. I made six of them and stapled them together and pinned them to each section. I went along crossing off EVERY section of EVERY row after counting EVERY SINGLE STITCH IN EVERY SECTION, no matter how sure I was that I'd gotten it right this time. Because like with crochet, I guess I have to check myself constantly when there are decreases.
I found a metric asston of awesome resin flowers at about three bead stores in Arizona (I'm on vacation and doing tons of bead shopping), and HOLY COW THAT WAS AWESOME. I last found/used up a stash of these in 2004 or so, so I'm very excited about this. I love to layer flower upon flower, like this.
But how do you get this awesome layered garden effect in jewelry? I found a solution...
I did THIS out of memory wire and beads.
About 9 inches of green is between each layer of flowers.
It's rather complicated to put on, but looks awesome.
After pretty much taking all of August off to do Camp NaNoWriMo, I went back to the skirt. After continuing to keep track of EVERY SINGLE FUCKING STITCH per section every single time... I am now at 11.25 inches.
It's going well again.
Maybe I will finish it after all sometime? I am going on vacation, after all. (Yeah, late.)