Never mind all that!
I made a couple of swatches and had to move up to 5mm needles to match the gauge, then stuck right in.
There are a few mistakes where I got confused following the chart, but the results are warm and adorable!
Well, that settles it. I can officially knit! You can see my Ravelry project here, but I didn't make any notes.
Yet another item I won't be able to test properly until Winter.