I have a pattern for a simple hat which calls for double-pointed needles. Would it be OK for me to start this on a circular needle of the same size, and then to shift everything to the double-pointed needles after a couple of inches of knitting? I think I'd be more comfortable about not dropping stitches if I could start on the circular needle.
Also, how do you join stiches on a circular needle? I knit a hat and when I finished casting on I just continued by knitting in the same direction. However, I got a gap at the bottom edge, which I'll close up by sewing. Is this the norm?