I hope I understand the problem; my answer to it is that when I knit the cuff of socks I used a MUCH LARGER (several sizes larger) size needle for the cast-on row ONLY. It will make that first row much looser, but you then return to the size needle being used to knit the rest of the sock. And, by the way, I do not use a smaller needle for the cuff than I use for the rest of the sock. I use the same needle for the entire sock; it works beautifully! I also do not use double-pointed needles EXCEPT for the finishing of the sock, when you have decreased to the point that you have too few stitches to use the smallest size circular needle you can. What I am suggesting is that I use a 9 inch circular needle (size 2) for the entire sock - except the very end of the toe. I also knit from a pattern that assumes you are using 4 dp needles and, in the places where the needles change rather than changing from one needle to another I simply put a stitch marker. It works beautifully!
I hope I haven't confused you altogether!