You have the same skill-set as knitters 50-100 years ago - so rest assured you can knit old patterns and they will make sense if you read them carefully (heck, they can't be any worse that Vogue's!).
|Chart for the Bell-Stitch Jumper I'm currently|
working on (link to Ravelry).
My final tips are to slow down, and understand what the pattern says before you dive in. It'll be worth it, i'm sure!
Some final words from the Lux Knitting Book 1941