Depending on the type of work you are doing, it might be that the majority of your architecture is already in place (e.g., web frameworks like Rails). It could also be (as someone else implied) that the patterns are there and you aren't recognizing them. I hope you don't mind, but I checked your profile and it said "java web dev". You're not going to escape using Java for just about anything without using design patterns. You may not be implementing them, but the libraries you are using make use of them extensively.
The "valueOf" function in Java is a static factory method. Why does it matter that it has a name? Because if you and I both know the name, we can discuss it more efficiently.
Jill: "You have a lot of different constructors for your class, have you considered using static factory methods to make it more obvious what is going on?"
Bob: "We could do that but maybe we should consider using the Builder pattern instead."
Mike: "Whoa, wait a minute. I think Builder might be overkill for this situation."
If our heroes don't have a common understanding of "static factory method" and "Builder pattern" the discussion becomes more lengthy. Having a common terminology for patterns facilitates discussion.
People can describe a solution to a problem they encountered. Maybe their solution is a known pattern - great! They don't have to describe it themselves, they can point you at a wiki article and then describe how that solution worked in their specific situation. Maybe their solution isn't a known pattern - interesting! They can describe it in relation to other patterns and discuss the pros & cons of their approach versus the others.
You can look up implementations of the pattern in the language / framework you happen to be using and see how other people have approached the problem.
You can read people's thoughts about using the pattern, "Well, we considered but ended up doing something closer to ." Maybe you hadn't even considered "pattern 2" and maybe it's a better solution for your situation.
And if people aren't using the names, you can still sometimes listen to their description of the system and short circuit a whole bunch of (high level) analysis. "Ah...that thing he's taking two pages to describe is a Factory. Got it."
As far as using the patterns as a catalog...yes, that can be a problem. There is real danger of ending up in a "solution looking for a problem" mindset. But, paired with maturity and discipline, familiarity with solutions other people have used for a variety of problem can't hurt.