OK, maybe every other knitter in the universe knows this and I was the only daft one to not get it, but just in case my counterpart is out there is cyberspace banging her head on the wall...
One of the reasons I HATE knitting hats, etc from the top town is because I find it way too awkward to spread just six stitches over 3 DPNs. I'm just not that graceful. I've fumbled my way through the Figure 8 cast on for socks (as it makes so much more sense to knit toe-up rather than cuff down) and I've even managed to do the famous Emily Ocker crochet loop cast-on - but both of these usually involve numerous (as in getting into double figures) false-starts and mistakes.
BUT I FINALLY WORKED OUT THE EASIEST-EVER SIX-STITCH CIRCULAR CAST-ON!!!
1/ Cast on 3 stitches onto one DPN (I use the cable cast-on as I think it is the strongest)
2/ Using a second DPN, knit forward and back into the first stitch. You now have 2 stitches on that DPN
3/ Using a third DPN, knit forward and back into the next stitch. You now have 2 stitches on that DPN
4/ Using a fourth DPN, knit forward and back into the last stitch. You now have 2 stitches on that DPN and no stitches left on the first DPN.
5/ I find that the six stitches created this way seem to hold onto the needles much more firmly than just cast on six stitches and trying to slip them two by two onto DPNs, making it easier to join in a loop and knit around.
(Obviously this can be adapted for 8 stitches and five DPNs)