This might be the longest I have ever waited to post a finished project. I finished this the second week of October. You can see I am ambivalent about it.
My ambivalence is this: I wanted to try knitting with cotton and I have to admit that it is a big adjustment from wool (I used Classic Elite Seedling - actually a good cotton yarn, it's just hard to get used to the lack of elasticity in all cottons as compared to wool). This is actually a good pattern for cotton, since it is not super-fitted, but where I really went wrong is that I did not increase enough stitches at those bottom corners there, so the bottom edge puckers and folds under (see below). Yuck, I don't like it.
But I wasn't pulling out the whole border after I was done - that was an entire skein of yarn, folks! (I realize that not wearing it for 5 months is more ridiculous).
So that's my Abalone. Live and learn.