Yes this scarf is actually 40 feet long! I have included a picture here of my mother-in-law opening this at Christmas and later on I wrapped it around my students at school (why I didn't take a picture is beyond me!)
Basically what I did was use two circular needles to knit this wonder of the universe. I wanted the stripes to go lengthwise and it just seemed that as long as I knitted that the scarf wasn't long enough. That's probably because I scrunched the yarn way too much on the needles.
Don't worry though, I plan to never be this clueless again!