I get it. What a neat hat! Welcome, by the way!
I would cast on at the end of the row, work back across that stitch and the stitches already on the needle and then cast on another at the end. They won't be lined up exactly, but I'm not sure how to cast on before stitches without a gap.
"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