I've used one pattern by DROPS before, and had a little trouble with it as well! My problem had to do with measurements - I was supposed to measure the piece at one end (which was longer) and the other end (which was shorter). When one matched up correctly, the other didn't.
So, I asked the lady at a local yarn store. She said that the patterns from DROPS were originally written in German, and that it had been translated...which possibly led to some information being left out, or at least unclear. Maybe that is part of your problem?
"Who shall find a valiant woman? far and from the uttermost coasts is the price of her...she will render him good, and not evil, all the days of her life. She hath sought wool and flax, and hath wrought by the counsel of her hands...her fingers have taken hold of the spindle. Favor is deceitful and beauty is vain: the woman that feareth the Lord, she shall be praised." ~Proverbs 31