Pattern says 'inc one st at each end in 5th and foll 6th rows until there are 44 sts....'
You now have 40 sts.
When you get to that 5th row increase at each end. That will make 42.
Then start counting over. Work 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, rows and increase at each end of the 6th row. Now you'll have 44.