The answer to yesterday's question is: Yes, it is supposed to have all those loopy things.
Even if the pattern doesn't come right out and say it, we all know that we're supposed to 'take the time to check the gauge' and 'read the pattern through' before we dive in with yarn and needles. Well, the gauge on my Shapely Shawlette doesn't really concern me much -- it might be bit larger or smaller, but it'll fit -- and I did 'skim the pattern through' before beginning.
I retyped the pattern when I got home from work last night -- I wanted it all on one page with just the basics and my own shorthand notes (I can never remember when to lift from front to back or back to front for a "make 1"). It was then that I read/typed about blocking the shawl and how the YOs at the beginning of each row would then tighten up and make a nice, neat edge.
Rip. I started over yet again. I knit exclusively on the shawl last night and have nearly used up the first hank of that yummy alpaca. It is looking fabulous! I'm imagining it -- even feeling it -- on my shoulders all the while that I'm knitting and I can't wait to finish.