I've re-read the patterns and have gone slowly, and still the same issue crops up. It happens whether or not I'm alert; quite frustrating. And I've frogged the bad part(s) and have re-done them more times than I want to admit, too. Lol.
I did find a solution since posting, though: Write out longhand the part of the pattern giving me difficulty in a way I can understand it. So far it's working. More effort, but better than frogging and starting over several times.