You're knitting along, increasing every other row, and she tells you how many stitches you should have at the end of each. You get to the one that says you have 36, and knit your plain row, and the next row says to kfb (knit into front and back of same stitch) 3 times, evenly spaced, and you should have 40 stitches. Again with the math: if you add 3 to 36, do you get 40? I get 39. Something must be missing here. But, it's an apple, a toy, a decorative item, so it doesn't matter that much.
At this point, you knit even for 8 rows (or rounds, since it's knit in rounds), and then you'll start decreasing. Remember, you are supposed to have 40 stitches now. It says k9, k2tog, and repeat that around. 40 divide by 11 (that would be the 9 knit stitches + the 2 you'll knit together) is 3.64, which means you'll be able to k2tog three times, but then you'll run out of stitches on that round. At this point, I stopped and checked the math again.
She doesn't say on the decreases how many stitches you should have each time, but at the end, she says you should have 6 stitches left to cinch up. So I worked my way backwards from there, math-wise. What I get to, as I work backwards, is to end up with 36 stitches on the round that says you've just k8, k2tog (both repeated for that round). Which means that the round before that should have had 40 stitches. (40/10 (the 8 knit stitches + the 2 you knit together) is 4, and 40-4=36)
This pattern was posted in 2007, and she's had comments since then, asking about her directions, offering suggestions for correction, etc. But she hasn't updated it. Whatever - it's a free pattern, and it is only a toy.
Just thought you should know, in case you try to knit it, that it isn't you.
I suggest you skip "k9, k2tog, around", and start your decreases with "k8, k2tog, around" instead.
I did a 3 stitch i-cord for my stem, for 8 or 9 rows. Leave a longish tail when you cast on, for sewing it to the apple. Sew it on in the center top, running your yarn down to the bottom and back up, like you did when you finished the apple.
I like my leaf to be not-reversible, showing only knit stitches on the "right" side, so I didn't make her leaf. I sort of made it up. I think it should have been bigger, maybe, but I like the shape. I did it like so: (same needles, same weight yarn, leafy color)
cast on 3 (leave a longish tail for sewing on)
rows 1,3,5: purl
row 2: kfb every stitch (6)
row 4,6: knit
row 7: p2tog, p2, p2tog (4)
row 8: k2tog
cast off and weave in end
sew to apple next to stem, and tack down through one stitch on row 5, letting the leaf curl a little.
I think my choice of red yarn wasn't quite right. It looks more like a tomato if you just look at the color. And I kept wondering why I was making a red one, anyway. I like Granny Smith for eating, and I love all green colors, so why I picked up the red, I can't say. Except the designer used red for hers, I guess. I'll probably make another in green, maybe when we get to "G" (for Granny Smith...)