Whenever I teach a class and talk about gauge, everybody groans. I understand--you've got a brand new pattern and a pile of lovely yarn in your basket, and you cannot wait to get started on it.
Think about this:
That yarn is probably expensive. And your time is even more expensive--you can't frog your time and take it back. By not making a gauge swatch, you could be wasting yarn, wasting your time, and probably getting frustrated when something doesn't come out right.
Gauge is most important for a precise fit in a garment, but it's also important for stuffed animals or accessories to come out properly.
I'll let you in on a dirty little secret...
For the past several years I've written crochet (and knit) patterns for most of the major magazines and book publishers. I think I'm doing something right, because I've seen lots of great comments about my patterns online (thank you, all!), and yarn companies and publishers personally ask me for more.
When I write a pattern and suggest a hook size--and I emphasize that word "suggest"--I am guessing what size hook you need to obtain the same gauge.
You see, I am a very loose crocheter. I once watched a woman using an "I" hook on a project for which I would choose a "G." Every time I see anybody crocheting, I check out what size hook they are using. It's usually at least one, sometimes two or three sizes larger than I would use for the same gauge. I must always guess your hook size--and I surmise my fellow designers are doing the same.
Only YOU can decide what hook to use!
Hooks are so inexpensive, there's no excuse not to have several different sizes on hand.
Plus, even if they are marked the same, different brands can be different shapes and sizes.
But that's another post for another time...