Wow, this has been very helpful! I've done about 4 inches of the blanket, and have been doing what nstssj recommended, pulling the second stitch tight, and it looks a whole lot better. I think I'm going to combine that idea with what CountryKitty is recommending - to knit every first stitch, regardless of pattern, and then tighten it up.
Sanibelle, I'm not knitting through the back loop, so I don't think the knit stitches are crossed... hmm...
MamaDawn, that's a good idea - I'll definitely try a loser bind off.
suseeq, you were right - I did a few more rows of ribbed stitch, and it looks a whole lot better. Yay!
And alleusion, I LOVE how you put that - it's handcrafted and the mistakes are just love showing through!!! I think I'll make that my signature line
Thank you so much, ladies!!!