So the increases are on the next row and then every other row at each end. Then you increase at each end on the next 2 rows. After that, cast on 17sts. Do that by holding the needle with the sts in your left hand and doing a knit or cable cast on of 17 sts, work the pattern across those sts and then across the rest of the row. Turn the piece and take the needle again in the left hand, cast on 17sts and again work across those sts and on across the row.
If you need to see a video for the cast on, check out the Free Videos tab at the top of the page, Cast Ons.
As far as keeping the pattern, I would look at the sts on the needle and then "back up" the pattern so that your cast on and your sts on the needle will mesh and continue the pattern.