I do love this pattern! I've not yet knit it, but I have the pattern.
Now, as for the provisional cast on, it's not nearly so hard as you think (I was scared to death the 1st time I tried it!)...you are going to need piece of waste yarn (yarn you aren't using for the project, but the same size yarn, ie, worsted if you are using worsted yarn for the project; dk if you are using dk for the project, etc). The video that I watched that caused
and helped me figure out this cast on can be found here
. Is this helpful?