I didn't know where else to put this. Last night, I went to a new LYS (really nice Romanian woman talked to me for a while and she recommended a new needle for my project). I bought a circular bamboo needle and it works so well, I think I'm sticking with bamboo. I bought a new skein and then came on to work on ribbing again.
It works! It's looking so pretty and I'm so happy that I can finally get this down. I also just got a ravelry account and I'll be posting pictures of my work so far there. :D It's not perfect, but at least I can see the freakin' ribbing.
So I went back to look at a picture of my original pattern. My scarf doesn't look anything like it. There is still ribbing (which was my goal in the first place), but I apparently hold my yarn too loose or something. The scarf is knitted like thick lace -- somewhat holey but still very warm -- while the picture of the pattern was very tight.
I'm not sure what I did wrong, but I'm kinda thinking it doesn't matter. I have third of a pretty scarf. It's just a little frustrating. The only thing I did wrong with the pattern is instead of casting on 30, I casted on 24. It's a k1, p1 pattern, so it shouldn't make a difference, as long as it's even.