I completely agree. I think it’s about getting fabric you like. The trick is matching the fabric to the size of the pattern which is critical in sweaters, but for shawls, hardly at all. As long as you end up with a size that is wearable, you’re good.
I should show you a photo I took about ten years ago during one of the very first internet based mystery shawl knit alongs authored by Melanie of Pink Lemon Twist patterns, when Stephanie Pearl McPhee and I compared our versions of the same shawl we were knitting, both of us following that logic of “fabric I like”.
We were terribly amused since as you can see, the shawls were so different in size, and yet perfectly in scale to our respective ::ahem:: statures. Ah, the vagaries of gauge! The shawl ultimately became known as Swan Lake, which is still very knit able – no mystery involved at all.