Elephant hat pattern has me confused... not enough stitches as I go up chart?

Hi! This elephant hat pattern by Kathleen Taylor is just the most outrageous thing I’ve knitted so far (IT’S GORGEOUS!)
BUT … I’ve done the lower half of the hat, the big elephants. Now I’m doing the 2nd chart which is the little elephants…

and since I’m new to this sort of… um, when I did my first round of the elephants legs I was short stitches. So I count them and there’s only 16. If you look at the chart it has those steps going up the sides and each time the stitches are less. How do I keep 18 stitches in the repeat as I go up the chart?
Do you have to count down and add on white spaces if you know what I mean… here’s the link: It’s chart two I don’t get.

(If that link doesn’t work here is her page and then you click on the elephant pattern and it enlarges)

You don’t have to keep the stitch count to 18, or else it will come out as a tube rather than a hat…

On the round with the little elephant feet, you should have 16 stitches.

I think you are supposed to do a k2tog on the rows where there are fewer boxes on the chart, every 3rd row it is. Looks like the decreases fall in the white sections.

thanks for the help… yes, well Marilyn you got it, there’s got to be some decreases I guess. Too bad it’s not there in the pattern! There’s only one reference to decreasing and that’s the last hand round, k2tog. Maybe I’ll write her at her blog to see what she (the designer) says. Thanks again!

That would be your best bet. Good luck with this wonderful pattern.

I noticed that she didn’t explain the charts at all…

Well ok I wrote her and let’s see what she says. It won’t work to decrease 2 or even 4 stitches every 3rd row because there will be (math here: 6 repeats X 2 = 12 stitch difference). and so on. I think that’s right. Anyhoo, maybe she will tell me.