Instead of increasing one stitch after the ribbing, I went ahead and cast that extra stitch on at the beginning of each piece, making it an even number of stitches cast on. The even number helped make it easy to do an Italian tubular cast on.
Did a twisted rib on the bottom and did not do the plain knit row before starting the pattern.
I switched the K2tog and ssk decreases so that they leaned the correct way.
To make the Right Cross-stitch and Left Cross-stitch cables look exactly the same (mirror images of each other) I worked them the following way:
Right Crossed-stitch Cable
Row 2 (WS): p2 wrapping yarn around twice for each purl stitch, p2
Row 3 (RS): slip 4 st WYIB, dropping extra 2 wraps and return sts to left needle. Pass last 2 st over first 2 st and knit in this crossed position.
Left Cross-stitch Cable:
Row 2 (WS): p2, p2 wrapping yarn around twice for each purl stitch
Row 3 (RS): slip 2 st WYIB, dropping extra 2 wraps and return sts to left needle. Pass first 2 st over last 2 and k2, k2TBL (knitting the two elongated stitches through the back loop)