Bookworm Tunic Pattern Help

BHG Bookworm Tunic pattern (pp 102-103), front v-neck shaping instructs to “Pat across 37 sts, ssk, K1, turn”.

That’s a decrease, right?

Then it instructs to “work 1 row even in pat”, then “Pat to last 3 sts, ssk, k1; Repeat last 2 rows”

My question: the pattern is a dotted check pattern using a multiple of 8 sts + 1 sts over 16 rows. If I’m decreasing 1 stitch every other row for the neck shaping, how do I maintain the pattern?

How do I even start it since 40 sts on the first row isn’t a multiple of 8 sts + 1?

Yes, those are decs. It’s fairly easy to stay in pattern on teh RS row, you just stop when you use out of stitches. Hopefully the WS rows are just knit. If not, you’ll have to start the pattern wherever you would be at that point.