I've cast on five, maybe six times now, so let me tell you-- I've become quite proficient at the new method I had to learn. In fact, I rather like it!! I saw your comment, Donna, about using the long-tail CO, and that's what I'm doing. My book calls it Continental Long-tail, but I'm hoping that's the same thing. After starting over a few times (and doing several rows each time), I finally had 4 nice rows that I was satisfied with. However, my combination of pattern, yarn gauge, and needle size still didn't gel for me. So, now that I have those "top-of-the-line" size 1 needles, I went back to the pattern I was leaning toward in the beginning.
I'm doing the Hiiuma Mismatched Mates socks from the Knitting on the Road book. However, I might make them some shorter, and I'm using a mulit-colored yarn and not doing the stripes.
My son started working at Starbuck's two weeks ago and wanted me to stop by, so knowing it was my motherly duty to do so, I put all my sock-knitting necessities into my new "pouch" and went, determined not to not return until I had several rows of sock to show for myself!
Needless to say, I was there a while, but once again I'm on my way, with three rows done to my satisfaction. This pattern uses five needles, and the one I tried previously used four. Is it my imagination, or is it easier to maneuver around a sock with five than it is with four? It sure seems that way to me, but you would think that it would be just the opposite. Maybe it's the "angles" of the needles.