You could skip slipping the first stitch if you want. You could add an extra stitch at each end. You could just sl p1, k2 to start. I think I'd just work the first stitch.
Cute pattern. I think my GD would like it.
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