32 stitches total, or 32 stitches on each needle? If it's 32 stitches on each needle then you should be able to use a circular needle rather than dpns. What length of circular depends on what your gauge is but if you've been working on a circular up to this point and are now switching to dpns, I'd say that you could keep on going with the circular until it is too tight to do so, or switch to a smaller length circular and only go to dpns when absolutely necessary. What's the pattern??
And your second question about the first stitch....it is not uncommon to have problems there. Some make it too tight, some make it too loose (I've done both) and it's really a matter of practicing and figuring out what works for you. Sometimes it's hard to tell until you've worked a good length of knitting whether that stitch is actually wonky or if it just looks like it because that's where your stitches split onto seperate needles.