Whatever follows the asterisk you'll repeat across the row; oftentimes 'the row' is omitted, which may be throwing you off a bit. Or sometimes the directions will say "rep * to end" (I'm using a pattern worded that way right now).
If there are directions before or after the asterisk, then those you do only once. E.g.,
K1, *p1,k1*; rep * across; end p1
So in that example, the beginning k1 and ending p1 are done at the beginning and end of the row, respectively. Everything in between is the p1,k1 pair.
And please don't feel embarrassed about asking--we want to help you understand!
Pattern directions are a whole other language when you're just beginning, and we've all had to learn it. So, ask away!