I worked on this a little earlier this evening, graphed it through row 35. Then I watched the video that salmon posted. That video helps a lot to explain things.
The instructions as written are about as confusing as I've ever seen, egad, but the pattern is really beautiful. I can see why you would want to make it. I'll take a little bit more time out tomorrow to work on this.
Did you view the video? It really is quite helpful. What yarn are you knitting this in?