To me checking gauge is a necessary nuisance. You can have thing work out and fit, if you do not check your gauge. But if something doesn’t have to fit, I be darn to waste my time make a gauge. Of course I sometimes learn my lesson in having to redo it, because hindsight is 20/20 and I am often too big for my bridges.
BUT inventive as I am I do not waste my gauge swatches. They actually have my time and yarn invested. What I do is I make them all 4″ by 4″ regardless what the pattern recommends. I have a good base to measure the gauge with that size.
I save all the swatches, regardless of yarn, color or pattern. Within a year of crochet I have enough gauge swatches to make an Afghan that turn out kind of like a crazy quilt. I use a neutral yarn for a background or to crochet the gauge swatches together and make it any size I want. I love the no sew, no crochet together technique I feature in my Afghan (look in my shop)
One can also use the gauge swatches to make pocket books, pillows or coverlets. No sense of throwing all that nice work away.
To come up the the correct gauge the biggest issue is tension:
If it is just a matter of hook sizes your gauge would be off in BOTH direction. That can be adjusted easily by recounting.
Please tell me your good ideas for me to share, so we can learn from each other.