You've got the right idea. Knit the first and last five rows or so, depending on your yarn, and always knit the first five and last five of every row with your stockinette stitch in between.
"Trust the pattern!"
Time flies like an arrow, but fruit flies like a banana.
Hop aboard while we follow the cloud-covered van of knitting harmony, man!! Woooo!! --Hedgehog
IngridKH on Ravelry