My Mum was an excellent cook but one thing she never did was follow a recipe, although she collected hundred of them. She would look at them to check the main ingredients, then she would follow "her instinct" and add or withdraw something here or there.
I am the same with knitting patterns. I can't remember one that I followed to the letter. It is not always a wise move and I can count a few disasters, but I can't help it. Like my Mum with her cooking, I add or withdraw things according to my mood... I can't even knit in the order prescribed... As I never make a swatch (yes, I am one of those who can't be bothered...), I very often start with a sleeve to check roughly the measurements. This has the advantage to have one sleeve less to knit at the end, and psychologically, it is a booster.
I have completed the back, the fronts and one sleeve. I am so good because I want to leave the best for the last : the lace border and the pointed collar (knitted in several pieces) which attracted me to the pattern in the first place.
And because I am so pleased with myself with this achievement, I have started another project which is an interpretation of a Phildar pattern for a short sleeves bolero... But mine will be with long sleeves, with a completely different yarn and knitted in the wrong order!...