Of course, she's talking about experiencing how your yarn feels and how it looks with certain stitches and how important it is to know all this before you begin a project with said yarn, all of which I totally agree.
But I'm talking about ease of finding patterns for said gauge. And better ways to store your patterns for ease of use.
Ravelry.com has a nice feature, in finding the exact yarn you're using and then finding patterns fellow Ravelers have used with that yarn. And that's fine. But many of us see patterns we like, but don't necessarily have the yarn for, and download the patterns to our computers, to use at a future date.
After downloading a few, we realize we need to categorize (if we ever intend on finding anything)!
We could store the patterns under the yarn weight, ie: worsted, dk, fingerweight, etc. And I've tried this method and added sub categories for the amount of yarn, ie: <300yds, >600yds, etc.
With this method, patterns can be found that use the right amount of yarn in the required yarn weight. But what if the gauge is off?
Today, I considered what Clara was saying. Feel the yarn, listen to it and (in swatching) find out how the yarn works best. Then decide what you want to make with it. And I thought, "OK, if I have a yarn that gives me this gauge in that stitch patten, how can I find patterns more easily?"
Categorize by gauge.
Now it's true you could end up with quite a few folders, but actual row count should be easier to tweak than stitch (and pattern repeat) count. Rows can be added or subtracted, keeping pattern in mind, but changing stitches will drastically change size and pattern. So the files could be categorized by stitch count, and sub categorized by row count, using a count spread, ie: 18-24 rows, 25-30 rows, etc. You could then have just a few patterns to choose from, rather than many.
My thinking is that several different weights, while using different needles, can give similar gauge. Also, many patterns call for stockinette stitch, where you may want to use a patterned stitch. If your pattern gauge is the same as the stockinette gauge, you can substitute.
Now this is all theory at the moment. I haven't done this yet and have no idea if it will work better. But I think it's worth a try.
I'll update in a year or so, and let you know how it's working.
Have a great, happy knitting day!