Hurrah! I've finally managed to get off and running with Sea Urchin. I attacked the project again yesterday while the Pro-bowl Football game was on tv and I've managed to get those center stitches to stack properly. I'm overjoyed. The yarn is zig-zagging beautifully as a result.
It wasn't easy though. For a while I thought I'd never get beyond that first pattern row. Everything was set up, the starting stitches were all in the right places, but I was totally thrown by the stitch marker. Slowly I worked it out.
What I did was:- I made sure that at the end of every round the stitch marker was moved so that it always sat after the second yo. This meant that I always had to slip the final stitch of the round from the left needle to the right, remove the stitch marker, slip that final stitch back to the left needle and then replace the stitch marker after the yo I'd just made. I then started the next round with K2, not K3. This has kept my 'center' rib stitches stacked properly.
Right now the hat is looking wonderful and I'm so glad that I didn't give up in frustration!