To follow or to forge out on your own

When you start knitting something do you follow all the directions to a tee or do you put in little touches of your own?  I think a knitting pattern is like a recipe.  Some recipes you have to follow pretty closely or your cake will fall, others have a little more leeway and you can leave out those ingredients you don’t like (onions- yuck!) or add in more spices if you like a little more zing.  With a knitting pattern, it is the same for me as in cooking.  There are the more complicated patterns with which you have to be pretty careful and follow every direction for the item to come out with the proper design and shape.  There are others where there is more leeway and you can add in stitches you like or change the shaping to your preference.  I like to make my sweaters longer so I always add length before starting my shaping but I will follow the stitch pattern if it is say a lace pattern.  That doesn’t mean that I don’t add a couple knit stitches here or there if I think that it will make the pattern look nicer.  Sometimes I can’t quite figure out which way a pattern is supposed to be done and try it a couple ways and end up with something I find more to my liking.  Then there are some knitting projects that I just look at patterns to find out general information like how many stitches have other people used to make a mitten with a similar gauge yarn or what is the pattern stitch they used to get a specific look but then use a different yarn and needle size.  So go ahead and experiment when you do your next project but make sure you write down what you have done or when you go to make that second sock or mitt you may not remember exactly what you did or if someone says ” I love that! Can you give me the pattern?” you won’t have to go back and  try and figure exactly what it is that you did.  Remember knitting is supposed to be something you do that gives you pleasure not something you need to fret over so go ahead and have some fun with your knitting.