These are the instructions that I received for a pattern and I am not familiar with this technique:
Cast on 20 or so stitches on US 6 needles. Knit 3-4” in stockinette stitch. Without stretching, lay flat and measure across to find out how many stitches you have per inch of work. Also, how many rows. Measure in a few places. If you are not getting gauge, change your needle size. Also, after determining that you have the correct gauge, begin work on the back. But be sure to measure from time to time to be sure your initial measurement of gauge is accurate. It is very difficult to judge gauge, even on a 4”x4” swatch. If you work the back first, then you can always compensate for errors in size on the fronts.
On the pattern itself it reads: Gauge: 4 1/2 st/in; 6 1/2 rows/in, on #6 needles.
Could someone please make this easier to understand?