I started this project back in 2005 ... when I was not a knitter with a tolerance for re-starting. So, working on this was very frustrating. However, patience and tolerance can be acquired ... which I did gradually. I usually start with the needle size recommended in the book. I would be able to tell if my stitch gauge is correct when I am one-fourth through the square. When I am half way done, my row gauge would be established too. I just treat this as swatching for projects like sweaters. Just yesterday, I frogged half a square because the row gauge was too way off.
Half an inch to an inch is my margin of tolerance. I would prefer my square to be smaller rather than larger because I think blocking would help to get better results with smaller squares. Here is an uncropped picture of one of the squares:
I haven't worked on the Sashiko Jacket these days ... still 15 rows away from finishing the first sleeve. But I am half way through the Victorian Ruby. One ball of Feza Kid Mohair gives me a 42" x 11" scarf. But I kept falling asleep when knitting the dropped stitch section ... I mean I literally fell asleep holding the project in front of the TV! :D I hope to get this section done as soon as possible.
Then, new sock on needles: