Gauge gauge gauge.
In real estate, it’s location location location. In knitting, it’s gauge gauge gauge.
Gauge is what you get when you knit. Recommended needle size? Bah! That’s just a starting point. Do you knit tighter or more loosely than some mythical knitter archetype?
I get quite irate when yarn store clerks respond to the question of what the gauge is for a particular yarn by telling me what size needles I should be using. Nonsense! They have no idea that I knit a lot looser than anyone else and usually have to knit three or even four needle sizes down from the suggested to get the correct gauge.
Just as frustrating is the yarn I bought yesterday to make a shawl for my niece. The skein tag itself did not give a desired gauge, just a recommended needle size. What am I suppposed to do with that? I don’t even know what gauge I’m aiming for.