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Monday, January 10, 2011

Totoro Knitalong


As promised, the Totoro knitalong starts today.  If you missed the post that explained what you need to participate in this knitalong, go back and check it out here.  The plan is to knit this stuffed Totoro:





I get all my bits together in one place - both the instructions for Kate and the notes from Rududu are necessary for this project.  I chose double pointed needles because they make it easier for me to keep track of the increases in the beginning and later the decreases.  If I know how many I'm increasing on each needle, it's easy to keep track of where I am in the pattern by the number of stitches on my needles.

Cast on and then divide stitches among needles.  I use a 4.0 mm or US size six needles.  They give me a pretty tight fabric that will hold the stuffing without stretching out too much while still letting me knit without hurting my hands because the stitches are so tight.  

This is what it looks like after the first 6 rounds.  For the first 3 increase rounds, the increases are done uniformly across all the needles.  Row seven is where the increases stop being done evenly around the entire body.  If you look closely at the picture of Kate, the belly is flat - the increases move a bit toward the back to make for a rounder rump.  

This is the piece with the first 22 rows knit.  I moved the knitting to 5 needles to show where the increases fall - the beginning of the round is at the bottom of this picture.  If I were to write my own pattern for Totoro, I would make the bottom flatter than this pattern makes it and move the two increases at the back farther apart (the one right at the beginning of the row and the one just before the last two stitches of the row).

One more thing about those increases - I don't use the kfb (knit in the front and back of a stitch) because it leaves a funny little bar on every increase row.  I substitute knit 1, make one for the kft (k1, m1) because I think it looks better on the finished object.

More tomorrow, but remember if you are knitting ahead that when you get to row 37 there are adjustments.  Anyone want to share pics of their Totoro?

3 comments:

Isdihara said...

Ooh, would I LOVE to knit up a soot sprite or 10 for my 4-y.o. who LOVES Studio Ghibli films.

Is there a pattern available online? Did you make your own pattern?

Kimmy said...

I'm a bit confused on on the number of needles you are using. I started out using four needles. Three hold the stitches while the fourth is the one I use to actually knit. How are you changing to 5?

Kimmy said...

Thanks so much for replying.
I was just confused, I have stitches on three needles and I'm using the fourth one to knit. Is it better to use five?