I think I out-clevered myself on the whole "illusion knitting coasters for Grandma" idea. The problem comes in the intersection of "illusion knitting" and "coaster."
I'm starting to get the hang of the basic process, as you can see. There's the very beginning of the bottom of a spade there in the middle. Ooh, black spot!
Here you can see how long it is already. If I were going to knit a coaster, I would consider this roughly a third to halfway done. I am nowhere near 1/3 done with the spade pattern.
I'm going to keep going, though. For all I know, it'll miraculously squish down and look perfect once I get to Row 70 (of 76). If nothing else, I'll have practiced illusion knitting.
Grandma might end up with a scarf, after all.
I just had a thought about the general concept of card suit+coaster. It's becoming pretty clear that the illusion knitting thing isn't going to pan out, and I started thinking that I wished there was a way to take out half of the rows. Then it hit me: Intarsia. Just because I'd have to adapt an illusion pattern to a technique I've *cough* never tried before is no reason not to consider it! I could totally learn how to do it.
I think my sock success has gone to my head. I'm getting all kinds of crazy ideas!