Oh, good point, Sue, I forgot about the acrylic factor! I think the blocking was for the curling edges in the original pattern (which I believe was acrylic, too, go figure!).
Heather - If you want to make the blanket ~ 30" as Sue suggests, you would need to cast on an additional 36 st. It should also be longer, too - the pattern is only 25" and should probably be closer to 40" or slightly more, especially with a width of 30". Since your yarn is similar in skein length, you'll probably need a total of at least 6 skeins.