Next Row K2tog, k 1, k2tog – 3 sts

in the above instructions, what does the “- 3 sts” mean? I am only casting on 5 stitches here (for the portion of a baby hat). Am I supposed to have 3 stitches leftover? All of the instructions for this hat have this at the end of the line.

Yes. Each time you K2tog you reduce the number of stitches by one. so you start with 5, k2 tog twice, leaving 3 stitches on the needle.

Sorry, I submitted too soon. It sounds like this pattern is just telling you how many stitches you should have after each row. This is a great way to check your work.

Ah…makes sense, thank you! I was still counting the K2 together as “2”! I’m sure I would have figured out once I started but it seemed odd!

It took me a while to figure that out the first time too. Good luck on your project. Be sure and post pix when you can.