That's really cute. Even looking at the picture, I can't guess why go spiral and ch1. Maybe someone else will. I'd probably continue joining the sts and doing the ch1 but that's just me. It might mess up the pattern. I saw no comments on ravelry. Maybe you can contact the designer.
Cheating is an option. . . . Cheaters never win and winners never cheat, but smart knitters who want to retain an iota of sanity do, cheerfully. ~~Kory Stamper