Best of all, it takes most of the fiddly bit out of it.
Step 1. Cast-on the apropriate number of stitches with a smooth, sturdy, spare yarn.
Step 2. Knit a few cm, an inch or so. Flat on two needles.
Step 3. Divide onto DPNs and join into the round.
Step 4. Knit a few more cm.
You're aiming for a nice little handle to support your needles, keep them all under control, and give you something to hold on to.
Once you've got that, switch to your proper yarn, leaving a nice long tail and knit two rows before you start on the pattern.
Then when you're done, you take that tail and thread it through all the stitches on that first row with the project yarn.
Cut the stitches on the last row of that waste start carefully.
Pull tight and weave in the end, all nice and tidy.