Well, Suzeeq had an idea about the placket. I still don't know what to say. The link took me somewhere but I couldn't find your pattern and if I did maybe I'd have to buy it to look at it.
It sounds like you are going to have to work in the round some way. A circular needle would make the best sense, maybe a 16" or 24 inch.
Could you quote the pattern exactly at the point you are having trouble? If you have 82 right after the hood, maybe starting right after you finish the hood would be good. Give us the rows from there to after the placket thing is done.