Thanks so much, granny square!
OK, so spiral stuff (I think I understand your distinction!) no ch1 (as it's continuous). "In the round" (where the work would essentially grow downwards, in a tube - is that the right distinction?) you do ch1. Is that right? If so - interesting! I didn't know that!
I think what's confused me is this: let's only consider the flat bits of the pattern. In the body, it DOES say ch1 at the end of every row. So I did! Then I did the robe (doesn't mention it, so I didn't) and sleeves (ditto). Should I have been doing ch1 at the end of every row for these? I