That's the way I would read it too (and yes, it's only ssk twice and also yea, psso the k2tog). Are you doing the yo
correctly? It doesn't use a stitch, it's a yarn over needle between sts.
Can you give us the stitch count before the row and does the pattern give the stitch count after the row? The sts between the asterisks remain the same (the increases and decreases are equal) but the k2togs at the ends will decrease sts.