The thing is, my stitches are always squashed.
That is to say, if I get the correct number of stitches per inch for the specified gauge, I will have too many rows per inch, and if I get the correct number of rows per inch, I will have too few stitches per inch.
If a pattern instruction is to knit until the work measures a certain length then fine, my squashed stitches aren’t too much of a problem. But there are certain kinds of garment where row gauge is critical: namely, those that have raglan sleeves, are a Fair Isle pattern, or where the entire piece is charted and the chart dictates the finished length. Autumn Rose ticks all of these boxes, which means I really need to get it right. I could get away with recalculating the number of rows needed from the waist to the armpit, but from there on up I would be completely buggered, as the raglan sleeve shaping would be much too short, and the consequent lack of blood to my arms would not be nice…
Eunny Jang recommends swatching to the row gauge; getting the stitch gauge right by spreading the stitches on the needle while knitting, and by blocking. The gauge for this pattern is 30 stitches and 32 rows over 4″ using 2.75mm needles. My swatch with that needle size came out at 30 stitches and 36 rows over 4″. I’m going to try again with larger needles (and some of the other colours as I’m a bit worried I’m going to use up my main colours with all the swatching!)
As for actual knitting today, it’s been minimal which, given all of the above, is definitely a good thing. I cast on the first Autumn Rose sleeve, which I will now have to frog and re-start once I get the row gauge sussed.
I’m back to work tomorrow, which means handbag-sized projects only, as I do most of my knitting on the train.