I can crochet. I just don't do it often, and haven't tackled a complex project in years. But I was asked to contribute a design to a new crochet compilation book (too soon for details to be released), so I thought I'd try something lacy.
Since my Crochet Bookshelf is sadly bare, I ordered a couple of stitch dictionaries from Amazon: The Complete Book of Crochet Borders and Designs (http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/1579909140 ), and The Complete Book of Crochet Designs: 500 Classic and Original Patterns (http://www.amazon.com/Complete-Book-Crochet-Stitch-Designs/dp/1579909159/ref=pd_bxgy_b_img_b ), both by Linda Schapper. They're both reissues of older books, put together with the newer terminology, and charts.
I was pleased and delighted to learn that crochet charts are quite easy to read. It's not as natural for me as Fair Isle charting, because nothing is on a grid, but it's still easy to see where you are in the pattern, and what stitches to work next. The books are chock full of good photos, with hundreds upon hundreds of stitch patterns and motifs, each with both written instructions, and those easily deciphered charts. There are also clear and concise illustrations for creating each stitch used in the books, which is a great help for newbies, and those, like me, who need a refresher course.
I crocheted a test swatch last night, using designs from the books as inspiration (sorry, can't show it) and was very pleased with the design. I think it'll work for the *thing* I have in mind. Lacy crochet is fun to do, and while I'm not as speedy with the hook as I am with the needles, it still works up pretty quickly- owing, I suppose, to the high air-to-yarn ratio, and the fact that I'm going to be using sock-weight yarn and a size F hook (no teensy little hooks and thread for this one).
I already have notions for other projects and designs. This is going to be a grand adventure.