ooooh that does make sense. when i first saw the scarf i couldn't figure out why the stitches looked so weird. :?? but now that i twist my head to the side and look at the scarf, the stitches do look like they're in horizontal rows, not vertical ones.
i did think for a second about doing the rows horizontally, but i didn't think all the stitches would fit on my needle. i want my scarf to be somewhere between 5 and 6 feet long, so i might need to use circular needles. however, doing the rows horizontally seems to be the simplest solution, so i think i'll go with that. thanks everyone for your help!