Can someone reclarify this (simple) knitting pattern

I’m a beginner and have trouble reading the instructions. I cast on 12 stitches to make a test swatch, and ended up with left over cast on stitches. I’m not doing it right.

Instructions.
Cast on 42
Row 1. K1 SSK, M1, P2 repeat to last stitch, K1

repeat

I’d appreciate if someone could write out what I do for each of the 12 stitches I cast on.

If you want to see the scarf, it’s called the going steady scarf.

Welcome!

This scarf is a multiple of 4 plus 2. You would need to cast on 14sts for your example.

K1 and then start the repeat: SSk, M1 by lifting the strand as given in the notes, and then P2.
You’ll keep doing the repeat (SSK, M1, P2) until the last stitch, then K1. There’s a video for the SSK here: http://www.knittinghelp.com/video/play/slip-slip-knit-english and also a video for an improved SSK on the Free Videos tab at the top of the page under decreases.

It’s good to knit at least 4 inches in width for a swatch plus a bit more. Cast on 22sts instead of 14 so that you can measure over the middle 4 inches.