I say "deceptively hard" because the pattern stitch for this thing couldn't BE a lot easier (CO 50-ish on a US 15 circular, YO, k2tog, repeat to infinity and beyond). But screw up JUST ONE TIME, and see what happens. I had stitches go missing (lots of them!) I had a "stagger" where the spiral pattern shifted to the right (or maybe it was the left, who can tell?) and then there was the coup de grace: when the ENTIRE SPIRAL reversed directions!
Luckily I had a lifeline -- Wendy. Otherwise, my DIL might not have gotten this thing. Or at least not by Christmas. Which would have been a shame, 'cause she liked it a lot (once she figured out what it was).
The yarn is superwash Merino in a chunky weight in a colorway called "Muscadine". It was made locally by Three Waters Farm whose proprietor does a lot of business with Wendy. And in fact, it was a display piece that Wendy was doing for Mary Ann (the aforementioned proprietor) that inspired me to make this piece. I was watching what she was doing and said "that looks really easy, and my DIL would LOVE it!"
Famous last words. But at least I was right about the second part.