Well, it was bound to happen sometime. How did I know? Because it happens to everyone at some time or another.
You get this far into a project and realize you have to scrap the whole thing because you miscounted.
I'll be honest. I noticed it a few rows ago, but there was that little part of my brain that tried to convince me "It'll work itself out eventually." Uh ... no, it doesn't.
So what happened here?
At the very beginning, after I made the initial "ch 6 and join", I miscounted. Instead of starting row 2 (yes, it goes all the way back to row 2!), with 16 total dc's, I ended up with 17. That resulted in me creating 17 of those "spokes" instead of 16. That extra spoke gave me my little tunnel that you see in the photo. That one single extra dc in the original circle caused all of this trouble.
Why did it take me so long to notice? Familiarity. I make this same pattern so often (see my earlier blogs on making bowls using this pattern) that I no longer need to look at the pattern. I just happily crochet away, almost absent-mindedly, while watching television and before I know it, I have an extra spoke that just won't fit into the design of the circle.
So as soon as I post this, I'll be spending some quiet time unraveling this so I can start over.
Lesson learned! No matter how familiar you are with your favorite patterns, it is a good idea to to stop and then to count your stitches and make sure you are still on track!