I don't remember how I got from here to here but that's the mystery of clinking links I guess. Anyway, I started thinking about whether I'd say I follow patterns or not, and why. I think I do. Mostly. Sometimes.
Maybe before I can answer that, I need to ask first, how much can you tweak a pattern before you're not following it any more?
Does using a different stitch pattern, say a 2stitch baby cable rib, instead of a plain k2p2 on an all-over ribbed hat count as following the pattern? I mean, that's only one change.
Does changing the yarn weight which means fewer stitches which means fewer repeats, count as following the pattern? Really, all I did was change the pattern's gauge.
What if I change a sweater pattern from a raglan to set-in sleeves? The rest is the same as the pattern. All I did was change the shoulder style.
Is converting a sock from cuff-down to toe-up no longer following the pattern? I'm using the same stitch pattern, so I'm following the pattern, right?
For all of the above, I'd say I'm following the patterns with just a little bit of tweaking here & there.
I buy patterns, and magazines, and download freebie patterns. I also read books about designing your own.
Sometimes it's easier to take someone else's pattern and tweak it a little like changing the lacy stitch pattern on a baby sweater to something more boy-ish for a baby boy.
Sometimes it's easier to start from scratch and design your own if tweaking the pattern means recaculating everything due to a different gauge, changing the neckline, the shoulder seam and adding/subtracting cables because of the new gauge.
Guess I just go for the easy way. And sometimes following someone else isn't.