I have a very stubborn self taught streak. It feels like "cheating" if I don't always create from my own patterns. But, with no formal (or even informal!) background in creating patterns, sometimes you've got to break down, swallow your pride, and make something from a pattern. Sometimes it's the only way to learn. The times I've managed to do this have always been enlightening, and I always learn something new.
Anyway, the little green girl pictured here I came up with after working with a Aranzai Aronzo pattern from a back issue of CRAFT magazine. (She's several steps removed, obviously...) I've always admired their work and I used to come away from it wondering how they did it. Thanks to their generous sharing of patterns, now I know!