First Circular Project: Poncho pattern measurments question

Hello all. I am about to ATTEMPT my first circular project: a poncho from the Berroco site. Here is the link:

http://www.berroco.com/exclusives/donatella/donatella_poncho.html

My question is this:

On the finished measurements, it says the pancho will be 42’‘widex18’’ long

But, if the needles are only 29’’ and you are knitting an 18 inch piece off of that, how will the finished product be 42’’ wide?

Am I missing something?

Also, are 29’’ needles a must? How much would it hurt to use the 26’’ needles I already have?

Thanks a bunch!

I appreciate everyone’s help!

You can always go with a smaller circ as long as the stitches fit. You just can’t go bigger or close to the size of the finished product or your stitches will be stretched out. Cast on your 26 inch needles and see if the stitches fit comfortably enough for you to knit.