A pattern is really more for inspiration and guidance than for following to the letter, in my own mind.
I think I will make the first one as the pattern is written, just to understand how things are supposed to go, and then I'll make a cape of this kind of thing. I saw a great one this afternoon in a movie. It was a filet crochet cape, just a rectangle of filet and a draw string to gather it around the shoulders. Mine will have flowers like this shawl has.