I never really learnt to knit from patterns, I just improvised my own things while knitting them. I could never make out any of the gibberish the Norwegian and Swedish patterns I have seen been written in, so I gave up that entire approach to the craft.
Inevitably I started noting down things in my own shorthand, for instance how to make a pair of socks that fits me in a certain yarn. This shorthand was based on my internal language which is English (amusingly enough my internal voice sounds very British), and when I read an English pattern for the first time it turned out to be basically the same as my own shorthand. K for "knit", p for "purl", and so on. Not too hard.
So, suddenly I could read English knitting patterns with only sporadic need for searching the net to figure out what something meant (www.knittinghelp.com has been invaluable!). Recently I made another attempt at a Swedish pattern and I could actually figure it out with a bit of effort! So progress. Maybe I can even write down my own patterns in a way that others can read soon?
I have also been figuring out my own way of doing things, like knitting cable, so recently I was asked how I have been managing to knit cables for 15 years without a cable needle OR lifting the stitches off the needle. So I made a video to explain how I do. It is in Swedish and crappy quality so I am far from sure I want to show it here though - maybe if there is interest for it actively expressed I will.
Last winter I mostly knitted using the Arctic yarn I made my mother buy me in Norway and send me. Of course with the shipping it stopped being good price, but it is still a favourite woolen yarn, nice quality on the result, it can be felted but it can also be machine washed without turning into items made for a doll, and easy to knit.
This year I am experimenting. I bought a bunch of different yarns (and that one Swedish pattern) off Lotta at Torgstenen.se, and have been knitting stuff out of several of them. So far, so fun! Will see what comes out of the rest of it. I haven't shopped yarns online before, but Torgstenen has good prices and a good selection, and she is really nice, so I can recommend the place!
And now.. in Norway a few weeks ago I saw a yarn I totally crave. Kashmir Alpakka form SandnesGarn, not at all my colours (too neutral, though the black, dark brown and dark purple of course could be usable) but SO lovely to touch, and looks great knitted too. Not quite my regular pricerange at around 80NOK/50g but.. well. Damn. So, good/bad that it isn't available here ;-p
And that orange hat? I sent it off to someone that I have never met NOR talked to, but who had expressed to someone else that she hoped I would knit her something, and specified colours (and, I presume, didn't expect anyone to pass the information on or take her seriously). No comment attached.