When you look at other people’s hand knits have you ever turned them inside out? Have you ever checked the seams or made sure the increases and decreases were mirror images of each other? Unless you are at a knitting meeting, convention or other event with a large amount of knitters, looking that closely at other people’s knitting generally is not the norm. And even at those events no one looks more closely at your knitting than you allow them, knitters are generally a polite group. So if you have not looked that closely at their knitting chances are no one is looking at your knitting that closely either.
This of course means that if you have knots in your knitting joining yarns and they don’t show on the outside of the piece or your increases and decreases are not exactly mirror images, they might not ever be noticed. I am not advocating being sloppy when knitting or not fixing easy to fix mistakes. And if the mistake will ruin your enjoyment of your item and keep it in the closet instead of being worn, then it should be fixed and re-knit. I am referring to the things in knitting that for whatever reason you feel there is only one right way to do and you did not do that.
I often knit in the ends when I am working with a lot of different colors of yarn, and in doing so I weave the ends in as I go. Sometimes however I miss one of the ends and I knot it to keep it from showing on the other side and unraveling. No one has ever knocked on my door and said, “I’m sorry ma’am, but we have to confiscate your sweater it has unauthorized knots.” I also sometimes forget to put a decrease or an increase in the fourth row five times (a common increase when working a sleeve), but I will put the increase or decrease in the fifth row once in awhile, and again I’ve never had anyone say to me, “Oh my, missed an increase there I see, had to add it later.”
There are no hard and fast rules, and in any given room of knitters there are many ways to do everything, it is only limited by the imagination and creativity of those gathered. Some techniques do look better than other techniques, and some ways of doing things are faster, more secure, and give a more polished finish, but somethings are not noticeable and don’t affect the finished product. In those cases knit on and be happy in the knowledge that you aren’t alone, every knitter does many things their own way.