I hope you have gotten this sorted but I wanted to post and make sure you knew there is errata online for this pattern. You might want to double check it against your pattern if you haven't already. This link
is for the pattern's page on Ravelry, where you can find the errata link.
Good luck! I'm scared of short rows but this looks like it would good practice if you make a blonde or silver beard so the stitches are easy to see!