So the knitting problem was, in fact, not my problem. It's the pattern. I started over on a sample swatch today. The truth is, the pattern just doesn't work at the smallest size given. I know math isn't my forte, but after several minutes of carefully counting stitches and following the pattern, I know I'm right. The perils of finding a free pattern on the Internet, I guess. Fortunately, I've decided to go up a size anyway, and I can tell already that the pattern will work with a few more stitches on the needle.
This is good, because I'm really getting tired of basic stitches and very long scarves.