I'll repeat here something I posted on the community blog last night concerning days 1-3, "Should your motif be cupped or flat? The answer is flat. There are two reasons your motif would cup, one is that the picots are not the correct length (they should measure 1/4"), if the picots are too long you will get a 3D effect, the other reason is tension is too tight on the outer chains."
I understand that we all tat differently and that tatting a TIAS presents it's own challenges because we are constantly taking breaks and coming back to our tatted piece. The diagrams are there to keep you on track and help you orient your piece in the right direction, this means that depending on how you tat, parts of the written directions may not always apply to you, for example TW's and RW's (tutorial included in the pattern)so try not to get hung up. That is why we do both written directions and diagrams.
Keep up the good work, I enjoy all you tatters so much!