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.

If you measure the gauge before and after blocking and knit the item to the ‘before’ gauge, it should be close to the after blocking gauge when you’re done.