My jump-in-over-my-head project was a sweater with hood, pockets, and buttonholes but thanks to all the wonderful help I got here I finished it and have made several more. When I decided to try mittens I came across some great videos on youtube. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=i2CZ_bMzk_k
You might want to check them out for help now or future reference. The link is to the first video of Kelley's Mitten Class and starts with casting on. I don't think I've watched that one yet. Whenever I encounter a problem the folks here come to my rescue, I'm sure you'll find it works for you too. BTW I like the name Franken-mitten, did you come up with it?