You can start it with circulars in the middle. Use the magic loop method or 2 circs to get it started, then you just need one. If you start from the outside and work in, you're going to decrase the stitches and still end up with a few in the middle anyway, so you might as well work it as written. Two circs might be the easiest and if you don't have 2 the same size you can use one a little smaller just for getting started, it won't be that different.
sue- knitting heretic