Part one in a series (the other parts haven’t been written, so no links yet).
Gauge is very important, yet it isn’t important at all.
Gauge determines how big your finished project will be. That’s probably what most knitters think of.
But gauge also determines the feel of the fabric: how it drapes, if at all. Projects worked very tightly will have much less drape than those worked more loosely. That means tight-gauge garments will be stiff and less body-conforming when worn. On the other hand, tightly worked projects make good tote bags.