A big thank you to Jacqueline, my personal chart reading tutor. Thanks to her, I am well on my way with Kate's Backyard Leaves. Jacqueline suggested marking the number of stitches in the larger blocks, so as not to have to count each each time. This is a very good idea, I think, and I keep on telling myself to do it. Unfortunately, I haven't yet, and am blaming the lack of a suitably fine permanent marker. (Note to the Sharpie marker company: You and I have very different ideas on what constitutes an Ultra Fine Point.)
The dodgy colouring is an idea taken from Naive Knitting, who does a professional level job of this in Photoshop, and prints out enough copies to have one for each repeat. My version of this system involves a magnet and magnetic board marked Galt Magic String. This was a game I had as a kid and included lengths of magnetic string. The instructions are printed on the board and include these directions: "Try throwing one or two pieces at the refrigerator door, seeing what shapes they suggest to you, and then adding other pieces, and maybe eyes, to complete the picture." In retrospect, this explains why I have such clear memories of being regularly scooted out to play in the yard.