Practice first before committing to an entire blanket. You may find you don't like what you are knitting. Check Ravelry for unusual patterned blankets or find a stitch dictionary and play around with different stitches.
If you really, really, really want to knit with short tips, try an asymmetric needle first. Addi and KA classic bamboo have these circulars where one tip is shorter than the other to make knitting in the round easier, cables are short. I've tried them and they really do work. But so does knitting in the round with magic loop, travelling loop, dpns and 2 circulars
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It's a free download on Ravelry, "Cancun boxy lace top"
YouTube videos will have the short row method and Cheryl Brunette has an excellent tutorial. Elizabeth Zimmerman in one of her books also mentioned the curved method of shoulder shaping. Also, check verypink.com to see if Staci has done something with this. The stair step method leaves lumps and bumps, the curved method doesn't.
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Check out videos on "curved shoulder shaping" to prevent the stair step decrease you'll be getting by decreasing as mentioned in your pattern. The "curved" method incorporates short rows and is very easy to do.
Any beanie will work, Ann Norling Kid's Fruit Caps(paid pattern, Ravelry), 1898 hat. Use soft yarns but not necessarily the super softs from Caron, Bernat and such. These yarns split and don't hold their shapes. Try the Deborah Norville line of acrylic yarns from JoAnn's.
Yes, we do LOs all the time
Just remember, with short circulars, the tips are also short. But if you are really, really, really serious about using short needles try the asymmetric needles from Addi or KA classic bamboo. One tip is shorter than the other making knitting such things as socks and sleeves easier.
I have had shots in both thumbs at the same time. I became sick with fever, flushing and severe headaches. Took 3 days to recover. I was not a happy camper. Be careful.
Before you bind off, run a lifeline through this last row. If you decide you don't like what you have done you won't drive yourself crazy ripping out that bind off. And what cast on did you use? If you want fancy, try the picot bind off.
You can use a Russian join or a braided join since this yarn is plied. Are you using the thick and quick version or the regular wool ease which is worsted weight? You can still do the braided join. YouTube will have videos if you are unfamiliar with this type of join.
Everything depends on tension but I have found this to be true. Experiment with different patterns to see what actually happens.
Lower your heart rate? Not when we are making mistakes. That's the argh moment.