Knock wooden needles. I managed to come up with something I like and cast on. Way too many stitches. I managed to make it work for me though and the first row of the pattern worked out just so. I'm happy. Which means disaster is peering round the corner waiting to fall on my head. If I keep shooting the evil eye off in that direction and counting stitches compulsively I may manage to get through this without hurting myself. I hope.