or how to knit a "Picture Afghan"
Something I enjoyed in crochet - and which frustrated me with knitting was the ability in crochet to easily create filet mesh "pictures". done in a heavier yarn they make nice afghans. Or filet mesh geometric patterns made complex looking but mindless-to-work patterns.
Which was a reason I purchased 'A Gathering of Lace'. In that book there is a technique for filet knitting - they use it in the round to work a graphed picture of a unicorn.
To use the technique in back and forth knitting (such as for a blanket or afghan or laprobe or wall hanging or door screen or window shade) is a little more complicated - but I worked it out last year to knit a dragon stole for my niece's Mother-in-law.
The technique uses 2 stiches x 3 rows for each square in a graphed pattern. The meshes are either "filled" or "empty". You're aiming for a stockinette fabric - so in addition to the 2 stitches per square you also want to allow for some edge stitches to prevent curling and you also have to add 1 stitch per row to make things balance out. or subtract one edge stitch.
(each square worked "loans" a stitch to an adjacent square to complete it)
But since it takes 3 rows of knitting to work a row of graphed squares, you are working every other row of squares in opposing directions. (confused yet? believe me - I was!) So odd rows are worked one way and even rows another...sorta