It was time consuming to put the stitches on the needle, but I used a needle one size smaller and that definitely helped. I was worried about splitting the stitches, but all told, when I pulled it out, only a few were split and it didn’t affect anything.
I hooked the yarn up to my ball winder and just turned and turned and turned it and when it got to the designated row, it stopped! And then I just started knitting! No frustrations, no risk of dropping a stitch. Yay for the online knitting community.