Crochet is not just for your nanna!
In the old days crochet was limited to toweltops, teacozies, doilies and table cloths. After sometime in the 1970's a few hideous vests were made and in the 90's there were a few joker's hats. Now let me brace you for modern day crochet. There are a few psychadelic designs inspired by the better looking olden day patterns and a whole lot of new design which involves berets, cute mesh tops and even jewellery.
When first learning to crochet i read I Love Crochet by Rachel Henderson and Sarah Hazell. While i haven't actually made any of the patterns included in the book - but, are determined too- I have found the book to be very helpful with understanding stitches and their abbreviations. I did find some free patterns on the net which i usually find by searching for "free crochet patterns" in google images and clicking on the pictures that please my eye the most. You can also find Youtube tutorials on how to do different trims and patterns.
Crochet patterns can be bought individually (like sewing patterns) or bought in book form amongst other patterns. Have a look through your library or bookstore for some books on modern crochet or online at Google books, Amazon (american/global site) or Fishpond (australian book site). And, while i have advised against most old patterns if you can get your hands on an ancient copy of "Vogue Crochet" you will be blessed with some truly cool psychadelic patterns.
AMERICA and AUSTRALIA / ENGLAND have different stitch names.
an american sc or Single crochet is the same as an australian dc or double crochet
an american dc or Double crochet is the same as an australian Treble
So make sure that you know where your pattern originated from. an easy way to know this is that single crochet stitch does not "exist" in Australia and treble does not "exist " in america. also check the publication page or author page or check the website contact info (if from a website).
have fun crocheting!
P.s. to find the origins of the above pictures and get the patterns click on the image. I don't think the middle one has a pattern.