Several months ago (like, June, I think), I started a scarf. A lace scarf, Branching Out to be specific, which was a fairly major step for me, since I was kind of afraid of lace. Winding the stupid yarn by hand nearly killed me, and I managed to get about one and a half repeats on the scarf after several froggings. I think I probably started the stupid thing about five times, and it still wasn't quite right. I gave up for a while, because there were other things higher on my Christmas priority list.
I picked it up again yesterday (not because my other knitting is done, but because of a brief moment of optimism that my other knitting WILL get done), and discovered that the yarn is...really damn tangled. I got a few more repeats out of it, but after about half an hour spent detangling, I made the agonizing decision to abandon it. I had another skein of laceweight yarn, and I didn't want to hate the scarf so much I couldn't stand to knit it.
So I pulled it off the needles. Today at lunch I wound the yarn and cast on again, and I've already gotten two repeats done. And the really awesome part is I haven't screwed it up yet. At some point when I was muddling through the repeats yesterday, something clicked. And now I can knit it without my brain exploding, and not only that, but I can actually follow the chart.
A chart! This is revolutionary! The chart revolution was actually due to Pomatomus, which came without written instructions. (Reasonably enough - that pattern would be impossible to do in words.) When I started Branching Out I avoided the chart and just went by the written instructions, because my brain doesn't work in visuals very well and generally prefers words. But somewhere in the Pomatomus process it clicked, and now I can zip along on a chart like nobody's business.
So sorry, chart people, for doubting you!
Now that I've written about it, though, I'm sure it's going to turn into a horrible disaster. Tempting fate and all.