Then, I attended the Vancouver Mini Maker Faire. Among other things, there were some people giving knitting lessons. I didn't stop by until the second day, by which time they had given away all their knitting needles. However, they offered to teach me using sharpened chopsticks. This worked reasonably well, although the yarn did catch a bit on the rough wood.
Back home, I had some disposable chopsticks lying around, so I decided to see if I could improve on the chopstick-knitting-needles idea.
Much thanks to the Maker Faire knitting people for the idea, and also for teaching me a way of casting on that I will actually remember.
Step 1: Sharpen the chopsticks
Step 2: Sand the chopsticks
The tips of the chopsticks will be splintery. Use coarse sandpaper to take off the worst of the splinters, then use finer sandpaper to sand the tips until they're smooth. This will keep the yarn from catching on them. Run your fingers up and down the chopsticks and keep sanding any rough spots you find. Ideally, you want the tips to be blunt so they don't split the yarn.
Also sand the rest of the chopsticks to get rid of any splinters.
Step 3: Varnish
I applied about 3 coats with a piece of sponge, then sanded lightly, then applied another coat. Use some clothespins or similar clips to hold the chopsticks upright while they dry.
And that's it. You're ready to knit.