"when you see the section of pattern above though how do you translate it, in the pattern it has 16sts on needle one 16sts on needle two and 24sts on needle 3, when I read that section above it saying 'k4 p4 3 times slip last stitch onto next needle' am I to adjust the number of sts on the needle or am I missing something else here?"
"Cast on 56 (64) sts loosely. Divide into 24 sts on 1st needle, 16 (24) sts on 2nd needle and 16 sts on 3rd needle. "
I think you may have knit past the beginning of the round. Keep to the numbering of needles as given in the pattern:
needle 1 24sts
needle 2 16sts
needle 3 16sts
If you don't have a marker (you can use a loop of contrasting yarn or safety pin or even a plastic stitch marker), put one in to mark the first st of the round. If you have gone too far on the last round, just take the 24sts out one by one on the last needle so that you have the 24-16-16 arrangement. Then the nunbers should work.
(Also, could you edit out the rest of the pattern in your post so that only the beginning of it shows. Copyright issues at work here.)