Knitting in the round

help, help, help! I am knew to knitting and recently gathered my courage to venture out of the land of scarves and into HATS. However I cannot for the life of me figure out how anyone can use those round needles! I tried to follow a pattern and despite testing my gauge and using the same size needle recommended by the pattern my cast on stitches were all stretched out on the 16 inches-as though I cast on too few?- and my stitches got even more stretched when I got a few inches into the pattern. then when I tried to switch to double pointed I ended up with this weird little nipple like point at the top of my hat. Is it easier to use double pointed from the beginning? And if so, how do you use them when you have a large cast on number or an odd number of stitches or a number not divisible by 4?

If there’s an odd number, you CO more to make it divisible by 4. You may not be putting enough stitches on the needles for a hat. Most heads are in the neighborhood of about 22 inches, and you probably should CO enough sts for 20" which should be enough to go around a 16" circ. What’s your stitch gauge? Knit a sample flat to figure out how many sts/inch you get, then multiply that times 20". That’s how many stitches you should CO.

If you used a very tight caston you would have gotten this result, but it’s good that this becomes apparent from the start as it would also mean the edge of the hat wouldn’t fit the head it was made for!