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Mini Mermaid Tail Help

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Help please! I am using a pattern for a mini mermaid tail that I found on Lion Brand’s website. I have gotten to the first decrease section and it just is lining up right. My shells are ending up on top of the other shells and not the on the single crochet. Can someone tell me what I am missing here?? Thanks!

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This pattern? http://www.lionbrand.com/mini-mermaid-tail-l60205.html

A shell is defined here as 5 dc into 1 stitch, a half shell is 3 dc into 1.  Before getting more into the pattern A generic shell is usually x dc (most commonly an odd number) into 1, skip y stitches, make a short stitch, skip y stitches, repeat. (there are oodles of variations--in your case, the shell is 5 dc and you skip 2, sc in next stitch, skip 2, shell, etc.)  In general, order to get any shells to nest, you make the first row, then in the next row you make the shells into the short stitches of the row below, and the short stitches into the middle shell stitch of the row below.  If a row ends in a short stitch, the next row will start with a half shell into the short stitch  (and vice versa).  

I rattled off the above 'theory' to show you how to find your way to getting it  back into lining up.

OK, orienting myself:  You are working 2 flat sections, front and back. The end of the body section (same as row 3) starts and ends with a short stitch (SC in your pattern).  This is the layout of the start of the decreases.  Also, every row is a different color, so at this point  you are cutting the yarn (not carrying up the sides) and starting the decreases 'indented' from where you left off.

So, per the theory, wherever the 'indent' part starts will either be a full or a half stitch into a SC, or a SC into the middle of a shell or the first stitch of a half shell.  The pattern says:

Decrease Row: Turn, sk first 3 sts, join B with sc in next st, *sk next 2 sts, shell in next st, sk next 2 sts, sc in next st; rep from * to last 3 sts; leave last 3 sts unworked – 7 (8) shells, chaning to C in last st.

So, the last row ended in a SC so you skip the SC, and the first 2 stitches in the shell, and with the new color making a SC into the top of the shell.  You should be lined up with the shell pattern.  The other decrease rows are the same as this one.

I hope this helps.

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Lion Brand sometimes duplicates the same pattern, or nearly so,  with a different name, but each time calling out a different yarn; I think this may be the case here.  The one I found calls out Vanna's yarn (medium weight), yours Homespun (bulky).  The patterns are VERY similar, slight changes in stitch count due to different yarn weights, and you aren't attaching a new color--instead your pattern has you slip stitching across stitches, adding very little height,  to 'indent' rather than attaching yarn at an indented spot.

You've given a clue that I didn't have before; before the decrease row, you were to repeat rows 2 and 3: row 3 begins and ends with a sc, not a half  shell.  You must have stopped at a 'row 2'  spot.  For the decrease row to be followable as written, you need to add 1 more row, a row 3, so you end up in the correct spot to start the decreases - this is why you were misaligned with the patterns when the decreases started.

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