Is there a particular reason you don't want to knit them in the round? If your don't like dpns, you could use a long circular needle with magic loop or two circular needles. Just a thought, in case it's of interest or help to you.
Cheating is an option. . . . Cheaters never win and winners never cheat, but smart knitters who want to retain an iota of sanity do, cheerfully. ~~Kory Stamper