Raw gauge v. blocked gauge
I'm wondering how to account for the difference between raw gauge (pre-blocking) and blocked gauge.
I'm knitting a sweater and have done several gauge swatches. I've read that it is a good idea to block your swatches if you're also going to block the finished garment. I've noticed that after blocking the stitches spread out a bit and the rows get shorter. That is after blocking, I have fewer stitches per inch and more rows per inch.
Should I try to adjust for the blocking effect when following the pattern. For example, if the pattern says knit until garment is 4" long, should I knit a little longer to account for the shorter rows after blocking? Seems like I should, but this seems like a lot of extra work to recalculate the various steps in the pattern and ensure that the different pieces/sections of the garment maintain the proper proportions. Alternatively, I could follow the pattern and merely give the garment a little stretch while blocking. I'm just concerned that the affect of blocking will be magnified over the whole garment and it will require a lot of stretch to reach the right length. Any help/advice appreciated.