Thanks for your replies, i stopped 'tightening' my yarn between stitches and found that it helped.
i'm not really sure how much of the pattern i could put on here (due to copyright) but i wrote it exactly as it is in the book, and the 4th row is the same, only ending up with 25 sts.
i wasn't aware i could increase using a purl st, so i knitted on the increases and purled the rest, will that matter? it looks ok to me, but as i said before i am a novice.
the pattern is for a basic doll, and the bit i was following was for the head, with the shaping part at the top, so will mostly be hidden by the hair, so it might still look ok, i hope