There were come discussions in my knitting group (Garnaflækja) about following the patterns. It was clear that knitters come in all shapes and sizes.
1) Some of us don't follow a pattern at all but only knit from inspiration and what they've learnt from others.
2) Other knitters use patterns (more than one at a time) as guidelines to put together the exact garment they are looking for.
3) Others (and this applies to me most of the time) follow the pattern more or less but have to make certain changes (e.g. simplify or change the colors).
4) And then whe have the knitters that follow the pattern all the way.
There are pros and cons to every sort of knitting style. The style I choose helps me get an outlet for some creativity. I don't think I can actually follow a pattern without changing something. Sometimes I don't follow a pattern but make it up as I go. That applies to the Bulky Lopi jacket I made for Kamilla and the neck warmer I made for me.
So which type do you follow?