Although I've done this numerous times without twisting the yarn and am not using different needles or yarn, I cannot seem to join after casting on without twisting the yarn on the needles. I'm even using a pattern I've used twice before, not that that should make a difference. It is obviously just ME. Does anyone have any tips as to how to avoid this?
If you're stitches are really scrunched up on the needle, that has something to do with it, because they're like an accordian and you can't really tell which one is untwisted/twisted, so a longer needle would definately help.
You could work a few rows straight and then join, sewing up the gap with the tail. This will give you a little more to work with when you try to determine if the stitches are twisted.