Oops. One more thing. You were asking about using patterns -- you can easily switch between knit and purl, so simple stitch patterns like ribbing or seed stitch should be easy enough to do, but I'd advise against trying anything more complicated. (That's what my one of my books says, anyway.) It'd probably be simpler to knit in the round (or if using two colors), knit each side separately and seam together.
There is no right way to knit; there is no wrong way to knit. So if anybody kindly tells you that what you are doing is "wrong," don't take umbrage; they mean well. Smile submissively, and listen, keeping your disagreement on an entirely mental level. They may be right, in this particular case, and even if not, they may drop off pieces of information which will come in very handy if you file them away carefully in your brain for future reference.