I learned to crochet when I was young, but I only knew what my mom taught me and she didn't know much either. Neither one of us can read a crochet pattern. (Although I'd like to learn, and then teach her.
We had a yarn shop open up in my little town -- I'd never heard of such a thing before, but I loved to go inside and walk around and look at all the yarn. When the city had a sort of open house -- it was called "Shopping in da Moonlight" and all the stores were open late, until 9 or 10 pm when they usually close around 7 pm -- and I dragged everyone into the yarn store.
I'd been wanting a knit scarf for a while -- even asked my mom if she could make one, and got a crocheted one in return, which I could have done myself.
On that night we were the only customers in the store (DH, DS, and DD in the baby carrier) and I had an opportunity to talk to the owner for quite a while, ending with me asking if they had knitting classes. Their latest one had just started, but she offered to teach me herself. I had two sessions with her to start on a scarf for DS.
She said I picked it up pretty fast and she wondered if it was because I was already comfortable with yarn. I didn't have a swatch, since I was making a scarf, and I think I started it over three times before I really figured it out and then I just worked on it for the next year until it was done.
I've since made three scarves -- the first one and two others -- and have yet to make the one for myself.
The ones that my mom made for me are working pretty well and I'm planning to make one for her as soon as I find a pattern I can stick with (I have had a couple of false starts.)
In the meantime, I have also crocheted two toys for my cat to make him stop stealing the crocheted pot holders my great-aunt gave to me. I think I need to learn how to make a catnip mouse!