I finished it and have it soaking, but don't think it's going to be giftable, as intended. I will probably wear it myself though LOL
I checked out the Jared Flood board on Ravelry and while no one complained about this exact problem I had, a lot of people disliked the look of the raglan decreases and did a knit stitch in between, so instead of beginning and ending each quarter with a decrease, did the k1, k2tog, k to last 3 sts, ssk, k1. I realized that all of the decrease points are a little loose, and maybe that's why there were no special instructions for beginning of round since it's sort of loose all over, but if I try it that way, I could hypothetically continue with the jogless technique almost all the way through the crown because there will be that K1 at the beginning, so might give that a go on #2.
Thanks again everyone!