Now that I'm home with my knitting, I see that I had misremembered the needle size. I would have used size 7 but happened to already have the circular 6.
At 182 stitches, it's 44 inches wide and would be more when blocked (which I might not do as it's not curling up due to its border). With 2.5 skeins in, it's 15 inches. Your estimate of 5 skeins needed is great, even with size 7 needles.
I've been watching episodes of Knitty Gritty at night to keep me company as I knit. While some of it is kind of hokey-sounding, it's interesting to see different stitches and patterns explained.
One episode showed a corset top, which I might try sometime. The main thing I liked was the lace pattern on its top. It looked so cool, I may try to use that for the Child's Play baby blanket instead of the feather and fan again.