I’ve made a start on the reader’s shrug. Instead of straight needles, I’m using three 32-inch US4 (3.5 mm) circular needles (I tend to get multiple needles in the sizes that I use the most). I have a needle on each end and I’m using the third to knit with — what amounts to three 32-inch long double pointed needles. I don’t have a 60-inch US4 (3/5 mm), so I had to order one. I won’t actually need the 60-inch needle until I get to the sleeves, which will be done two at a time using the Magic Loop method.
As I said, I’m using the Turkish cast on to enable me to knit the back in both directions at the same time. I could do a provisional cast on, knit 9 inches, pick up the provisional stitches and add a second ball of yarn, and knit 9 inches in the opposite direction to obtain the 18-inch back width I need, but the Turkish cast on is completely seamless and completely invisible, and it’s a whole lot less complicated than knitting the thing one half at a time and joining the two halves using the Kitchner stitch.
The piece is 20 inches wide in vertical dimension. I could cram a piece that wide on long straight needles, but I find straight needles to be unwieldy — like when I’m knitting in a chair with arms, the ends of the needle keep hitting on the chair arm, which I find annoying. They are also tiring to knit with because the knitting weighs down the ends. Using the circulars, however, makes it easy to knit something that wide.
The actual knitting is so simple it qualifies as TV knitting.* The back part is just a two-row repeat:
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: K9, p81, k9.
I haven’t decided if I want to do the whole sleeve in stockinette with just a short ribbed cuff, or stockinette to the elbow, and ribbed all the way down the forearm for a kind of “leg of mutton” effect, or whether I want the whole sleeve ribbed. I’ve got a while before I need to commit, though.
*The pattern is so simple that you don't have to pay close attention to it or count stitches or rows, or anything fancy. You can work on it while watching TV and not worry about messing it up.