Do you like to follow crochet patterns? Most of the time I do. I like the recipe of them, the way that all of the instructions fit together to make a finished object. I like written instructions best but I also enjoy charts, tutorials, and other step-by-step procedures that help me make string into stuff. I also love sharing my own crochet patterns, both paid and for free. Just like the scientific method, I can share my steps with other crafters (sometimes in totally different countries!) and they can get the same result.
Although I prefer patterns in general, at times I feel like crocheting intuitively. What does it mean to crochet intuitively? It means that you are using what you know about the stitches and how they fit together to make objects without writing or following a pattern. Some people call this style of crochet "freehand". When I'm teaching someone to crochet for the first time, I find that intuitive crochet is the best way to go. It helps you to gain confidence in yourself as a crocheter. It also makes it easier when you later start reading patterns because you have a better frame of reference.
Here is a hat that I made when teaching someone to crochet in the round and do regular increases. I added the fun brim and flower as well. Though I love the challenge of writing patterns, every now and then it's nice to just make something without following or leading. Just doing.
What about you? Do you prefer to crochet from patterns, or do you prefer to crochet intuitively? Do you like both equally?