I have undertaken a few new projects and I decided to really pay attention to gauge.
This of course has to be addressed with knitting a swatch. My first project is the Portulaca sweater from a Celtic Cable class from Craftsy. The yarn is green and the needles recommended are US 7 (4.5 mm). The gauge should be 18 stitches to 4" and 26 rows to 4."
I have been told that one should try to match stitch gauge instead of row gauge.
It is also important to wash and block the swatch and measure afterwards. I started with the 7s, the moved to 6s, and finally to 5s. I separated each size by a row of garter stitch.
My next project starts a mystery knit-a-long on the 17th and the gauge is to be 22 stitches and 30 rows on US 5 (2.75 mm) needles. This swatch also needs to be blocked.
I started with the 5s, then to 4s and finally to 3s.
The conclusion is that for the sweater, I got gauge on the 5s and for the shawl, I'm going to have to go down to the 2s.
Ready for knitting now.