This is a shot of my in-progress Sci-Fi Shawl, which is finally starting to look like the pattern. It occurred to me, as I started it, that lacemaking ought to be a metaphor for something: you start off with no idea what you're doing, it all looks completely chaotic and makes no sense, and you can't see how it's going to get from the first few random-looking stitches to the finished object it's supposed to be. And you keep checking what you're doing because you're sure you're screwing it up somehow or other. But as it progresses, it starts to make more sense, and then there comes a point where the pattern becomes clear and you understand how it works. And eventually (I'm not there yet), you understand it well enough to adapt the pattern, or improvise, or design something of your own.
It's not a metaphor for life, because life is too random and haphazard. But it's not a bad metaphor for adjusting to a new job, or learning to work in an unfamiliar art form, or (supply your own analogy).
Also? It took me well into the second chart in the pattern to figure out which end was up. Literally.