Hi backatcha Pat,
I don't know so much about the serious part of serious knitter.
My daughter took that picture at a family get together. I have yet to get my family trained to wait to talk to me when I'm not counting. They're worse than cats!
British knitting patterns do read a little differently to me; they seem to assume either a base skill set or willingness to trust the pattern. I can't figure out which it is, or even if it matters. I tend to read the instructions then jump in the deep end and knit, trusting that all will come clear as I knit. Most of the time it works first time. When it doesn't, I rip back, reread the instructions, and give it another go.
And thats the really cool thing about knitting: reading only takes you so far. Doing takes you all the way.