Mystery stitches have their merits. I was in (almost-casted on 22 and lost stitches!) the same situation as you were dlsknitter. I now realised that I was purling wrongly, not passing the yarn 'inside' the needles between knit and purl along with other quite major problems. I then realised the needles were too big (changed them) then too small (got annoyed at the confusion),treated myself to some new needles :hug::inlove:, and now my first lace project looks like how I had dreamed it would be (still in working progress) with correct needle size, with the correct and easier way of doing purl and knit stitch cloud9.
So, dont worry about your extra stitches -moan on here more until these genius knitters find ways to improve your knitting. Then you will be a better knitter and feel more confident to tackle harder projects.
Tip: Put a pattern on the forum, translate it into newbie speak/english, provide direct-from-pattern row stitch total to check calculation/pattern and your interpretation match. Then check your knitting to see if it matches. If it does -put a lifeline in (see the video on this site regarding lifelines/row markers). Then if you find a problem, you can undo a row, without risking all your work!