You can always Congo 2 smaller dreads if the root sections are compatible. I've done that to 6 (down to 3) locks. I loosely twisted them around each other and threw a couple beads on. You don't need to twist. You could just bead or wrap a string.
They look awesome! Yes I had wondered because I don't see any updates since October. Your oct picture looked pretty normal to me. I wondered if your stray hair ended up becoming more dreads or joining the existing ones.