You're confusing this Octagon swirl pattern with the other one. The Octagon says to use a set of size 5 dpns with 5 needles, you CO 8 stitches not 6, so you would still put 2 sts on the 4 working needles. If you're using magic loop you ignore that part though. CO all your stitches, pull the cord out between them so you have 4 sts on each part of the cord (or 3 sts if you use the one where you CO 6 stitches). Then you take one of the tips in your right hand to join the sts and work the first round.
sue- knitting heretic