Here's where I am with my pineapple now - nearing the ends of the leaves.
I've made a few modifications to the pattern so far:
Instead of knitting the first row with the straw-color and green, I knit it with just the straw-color.
After knitting the first row of green with beads, I did a single row of purl stitches and centered the beads in each pearl bump for a neater effect.
To soften the color transitions, I'm alternating color rows at each blending point.
I'm also planning on inserting an eyelet row between the leaves and the fruit to thread the drawstring through.