Well, the MaryElla bracelet is finished and en route to my friend in New York! It went really fast once I got into it -- I knit probably 3.5 inches last Saturday. It's quite an easy pattern, for the most part -- just knitting and purling, with the occasional k2tog and YO. The main thing that I found very mildly frustrating is that it's a little hard to get into a rhythm when knitting it, because you have to stop every few stitches to slide beads up.
I would make ywo little changes to the pattern. First, as others on Knitty's discussion board suggested, I slipped the first stitch of every row (instead of knitting it) and it made a much, much neater edge. Second, I wish the author had made it clear that there will be beads on the right side and the wrong side -- I thought I was doing something wrong until I poked around online and saw that others did the same thing.
The other thing I changed is the closure. I was never all that enamored of the idea of snaps on this bracelet -- they seemed too... prosaic. Too practical, not pretty enough. But I didn't know what other options were out there, so I put them on anyway (as you see in the picture above). And I liked them even less once I got them on -- it felt like they were going to rip off or tear the fabric when I unsnapped them. So I went back to the bead store where I got the beads, and found a different type of closure:
I don't know what it's called, but I liked it a lot better. The two pieces slide together. I didn't attach it as neatly as I would have liked, but I needed to get the bracelet in the mail!
I think I'll make more of these, probably for Christmas gifts this year -- they go so quickly, and they're so pretty, and there are so many colors I could do!