Hi funkyjedi (star wars fan?), don't despair. I think one of the mistakes a new knitter can make is to set out making an item. Your working with chopsticks reminds me of how I learned to knit - sharpened a couple of my brother's tinkertoy sticks and used my mom's package string. I spent a long time playing with them learning the stitches before I got some yarn and needles. Speed will come with practice, so if you have some time to spend every day, you'll get there. You might need a more efficient way of holding the yarn and making the stitches. Take a look at some you tube videos for the style you use (yarn in left hand is continental, yan in right is english - usually) and see if you can find a way that improves your productivity. Keeping your hands close to the needles will help with that.
sue- knitting heretic