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You could just try another cast on for a bit. I prefer long tail, but I started with the knitted cast on. I knit english because it was easier for me when I was learning. I can now knit continental as well, but english is my go to method. Do what works for you. One is not better than another regardless of what you've been told before.
We usually do suggest a worsted weight (medium #4), light, solid colored yarn and needles of about 8 or 9. The needle material isn't really important if you aren't having trouble with them being too slippery. If they are then bamboo/wood might be better to learn on.
I'm trying to think how you might be doing the cast on to get a crossed stitch look.. Not sure, but maybe try another one for now?