OK, it sounds like this pattern: http://dc136.4shared.com/doc/uNYvCNj2/preview.html
They want you to sew up the neck seam first and then pick up stitches around the body of the sweater and joint to knit in the round. This will make a short garter stitch border all around the lower edge of the sweater. You'll do this by picking up stitches along the edge at one side onto a circular needle and then knitting the stitches off the holder onto the same circular needle.Then you'll continue with the same circular, picking up more stitches on the other side and joining in the round probably at the front neck seam. After you pick up the stitches you'll be knitting out from the edge, so you will be knitting sideways.
I do admire your ingenuity in making your own circular needle. Good one!