Al: The curds may be a little dry, but not overly dry. I've been tasting them and they seem good to me. I'm not sure what happened -- I even pressed a little with my hands when I put the curds in the mold. I wonder if my curds got too cold? I kept a little heat on the pot, and they definitely weren't cold.
SS: I was surprised because it was smoothing pretty easily and I was just using a butter knife. It wasn't like spreading cream cheese, but seemed to be going fine until I started breaking off chunks. The wheel (?) of cheese is pretty fragile. I don't really want to handle it because I think it will come apart. Maybe I'll post a pic, but not really feeling like it since I'm a bit discouraged.