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I’ve been meaning to make a Totoro themed knit from some Gynx Totoro yarn for a long time now.  So long that my mind has been saturated, along with the rest of the world’s in the last few years,  with totoro images.  I’m kind of sick of the idea.  But My Neighbor Totoro was one of the first anime movies I saw as a teenager.  It’s sweet and nostalgic.  I’ve shared it with my children and so it’s part of our little family lore.  Also my cat looks like a totoro when she sits.

So, I decided to merge a couple of ideas I’d been meaning to try.  Yes, the Miyazaki theme, but also the Elizabeth Zimmerman Seamless Yoke Sweater from Knitting Without Tears.  I was inspired by Kristen’s (from the House of Knitting Podcast) EZ sweater in last year’s SSKAL.  I’ve been wanting to try a percentage sweater ever since.

Remember how I was reading Knitting Without Tears in a Read-a-Long?  Well, I stopped until I could at least try one of the techniques I was learning.  It’s time to try it.

I used a slightly oversized Old Navy something-or-other to choose the bust size I wanted on this.  Then I swatched, and started plugging the numbers into the percentages.  I chose 37″ which is 164 sts, knit on size 3’s.  All of that stockinette was perfect for working while visiting with my grandparents.  It was a straight shot to the armpits, then I cast on for the sleeve cuffs and knit both at once.   I’m almost finished with the sleeves.  Then, the real test will begin.

There is no shortage of totoro anything out there these days, even knitting charts.  I used this sweater, by nigelewan, (I was surprised to find a totoro version of an EZ sweater) and charts from these mitts, by Brella, as inspiration.

I’ve never charted anything before, so that was a nice little exercise in frustration.  I haven’t used graph paper since high school.  But, really, figuring out how to knit totoros with the proper amount of lumpiness, long enough ears, and still have room for an umbrella is a better problem than many I’ve faced.  So it was kind of fun.

I’m not too sure about how clearly the fair isle will pop against this brown.  It’s a lot of brown, is it not?  But I’ll deal with that when I get there.  I can always just sub another solid color in if I have to, though this pretty multi colored skein is the one I had my heart set on using.  This will be my second Classic “Must Knit” of the summer.  Aidez is still on the needles, but guys! that things takes some serious concentration.

(more on ravelry, kollabora, instagram, and flickr)

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  1. I love Totoro themed knits and it looks like you've put a lot of thought into this. I'm convinced this is going to look awesome. Hopefully that colourful yarn will pop enough, because it's super pretty.

  2. Oh! This is going to be a gorgeous sweater! I'm sure those pinks, greens and purples will look nice as Totoros on that sweater. It makes me want to make something similar. I think my favorite knit is winter sweaters, so cozy and in the round.

  3. I have, Miriana! That was one of the first I saw when I went looking for Totoro themed projects. I love how she transformed Paper Dolls into Totoros!

  4. I'm hoping it shows up clearly. I'm going to try and tackle the yoke and finish it this weekend. Wish me luck.

  5. Thanks! I'm hopeful, too. I haven't been able to work on it a ton lately because of some gift knitting, but I'm about to dive in.

  6. Mine too! I love showing them to my kids, my husband, and his family. They're the kinds of anime you watch even after your kids grow up. Then, of course, I get to show them to grand kids one day.

  7. I'm totally a sweater knitter too, Elena. I knit different things, but a whole big garment is my preferred challenge. I'm excited to get to the colorwork on this.

  8. I hope it doesn't disappoint :). Thank you for friending me on instagram. I just found you on ravelry, too.

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