Ok, I hope this isn't a silly question, but are you putting three sc or dcs (whatever you are using to go around the edges of the blanket) in each corner?
Other than that, I sometimes find my edging won't lay flat if I have put too many stitches in around the edges (creating unintentional ruffling) or if I have crocheted the edge too tight. Sometimes all the blankets need is to be washed and blocked (as a knitter, I bet you know this, but washing something and drying it in the correct shape -- in this case, with the edges lying flat, even if it means pinning them -- is sometimes just what a project needs to finish it and take care of those bumpy spots).
For me, the easiest blanket to do is just straight single crochet, double crochet, or half-double crochet in a fairly thick yarn so it goes quickly (or hold two different yarns together to make it thicker and more colorful). That's probably exactly what you're trying to do already, so that may not be much help. This may sound like heresy, but I think I'd use knots to secure the ends when you come to the end of a skein of yarn, and maybe even sew the knots into to the blanket with thread, because I can imagine how fast a dog could take a blanket apart if the ends weren't really secure.
That is fantastic! You know, last year I tried to do a Shaun stencil, but I chose the wrong image (you know the one with all the zombie hands around the edges ... no one wants to cut around so many zombie fingers, believe me). But yours looks so cool!
Thanks for posting the pattern! Your photos got me thinking, right after you first posted, and I used some self-striping sock yarn I had lying around to make a shrug along the same general principle (rectangle with the arms stitched up), but I want to try the cool daisy pattern you used too.
I don't have any sage advice to offer, unfortunately, except to say that the folks who do a lot of embroidery on craftster probably have the scoop on transfer papers, stabilizers, and the like. I think I'd post the same question to Crafster's stitch wizards. I was given an afghan kit once that had cross-stitched lilacs on it, but that's the closest I've gotten to doing any serious embroidery on a crocheted base (and the afghan kit is still in the bag ... really ought to find that that thing and either give it a try or recycle that yarn!).
That's great! I own that book too and have been looking at that top, but have never gotten going on it. Now that I've seen the results, I think I will! It's always so helpful to me to know if people substituted yarn or not and if so, how it turned out.
I have medium brown hair myself, and those same pesky grays you are talking about. What I did for years was buy a semi-permanent hair color, usually L'oreal Color Spa, in light brown. It's got no peroxide in it or anything that could lighten the hairs that were dark, so what that did was make the gray/white hairs light brown, and because my grays were in areas that were good spots for highlights anyway, I ended up with medium brown hair with what looked like light brown highlights.
Now, this does not work for me anymore, because at some point, the gray hair went from normal hair into some demon gray hair (I believe it's what's called on the hair color box "resistant grays). At that point I started alternating the semi-permanent with a permanent hair color (less damage to my hair, I've always found, if I don't use the permanent hair color every time).
Wow, you know, I do have a copy of that book, but I hadn't actually gotten around to trying any of the patterns yet.
I think you should maybe contact somebody about the errors. Sometimes don't they release corrections and things on webpages, when published patterns are found to be faulty? I know I ordered a pattern that turned out to be completely wrong, and I found an email address or web address and contacted them. They said, oops, yes, you're right. We're going to do a revised version of this pattern and we'll send you a copy when we do (have they ever done that? of course not, but that's another story ...). I felt vindicated at least for them to admit there were major problems. Is there an address in the book someplace?
The other thing you might do is post a review on Amazon.com. I know when I'm buying a new crochet book, I look there to see if people have posted anything negative about the patterns. If one person posts that the patterns had errors, you can't be sure, but when a book is full of problems, usually multiple people complain about it and I appreciate knowing about those problems in advance!