FO Fridays: Paper Totoros

Paper Totoros

This Totoro version of the Paper Dolls sweater is something I have wanted to do for a couple years now. After rewatching My Neighbor Totoro, it was definitely time to make this sweater. This is my homage to Studio Ghibli and Miyazaki.

It didn’t quite work quite like I wanted it to. Mainly that even though I was at gauge, my yoke ended up a bit tighter, but I think worse of all, the underarm and sleeve cap is tiny. I’ve found that small arms are an issue with Kate Davies patterns. I can just get away with it because I don’t have big arms to begin with. It doesn’t look tight, but the upper arms are very restrictive. Relative to the upper body, the torso is on the looser side actually. I did extra waist decreases, but it still gave me some positive ease.

Paper Totoros

Yarn: I chose the Sisu based on economy and saw many others used it for this project too. I couldn’t find another affordable twisty yarn that would suit this. It is a bit fuzzy, but not coarse for a sock yarn. I would still try to wear a thin long sleeve t-shirt-underneath.

Studio Ghibli movies watched and rewatched while making this jumper: Whisper of the Heart, My Neighbor the Yamadas, Kiki’s Delivery Service, The Cat Returns.

Paper TotorosPaper Totoros, started October 7th, finished November 28th 2012. Ravelry Project Page
Pattern: Paper Dolls by Kate Davies Ravelry Pattern Page
Size: Blocked:
Hips: 78cm/30.7″
Waist: 66cm/26″
Bust: 69cm/27″
Body Length: 96cm/37.8″
Arm Length: 5cm/2″
Arm Width: 26cm/10″
Yoke Depth: 14.5cm/5.7″ (front and back)
Yarn: Sandnes Garn Sisu (80% superwashwool 20% nylon) 191 yards / 50 g – Under 4 skeins of the cream, less than one each of the green and the grey. I have one full skein of the white left, but good thing this is sock yarn as that is always useful.
Needles: Long circs 40″/100cm all these: US 2 – 2.75 mm (used the most), US 4 – 3.5 mm, US 3 – 3.25 mm, US 2½ – 3.0 mm

Paper TotorosModifications & Notes: A lot!


  • Gauge achieved (ish) on 2.75mm.
  • For the ribbing, knit the MC with my right hand and Norwegian Purled with the CC1 in my left.
  • Decreased every 8 rows 8 times and increased every 6-8 rows 7 times.
  • For the decreases, used paired k2tog and ssk decreases instead of the one stated in pattern.
  • For the increases, used this increase and its mirrored version where you pick up from the below the stitch on the right of where you want the increase to go.

Sleeve Caps

  • CO 74 sts on 3.25mm and switched to 3.0mm for ribbing. A little over 2” in total.
  • The underarm is way too small so I grafted it, but I also went back and sewed it from the inside to close the gap and reinforce.


  • 15 Totoros so had 330 sts to start yoke
  • Totoro’s mouth: Knit in CC2 one stitch past the one where you want the mouth to be. Slip the last knit stitch (the mouth stitch) to the left needle, bring MC to the front wrap the stitch back to right needle.
  • Thanks to KonaSF on Ravelry for sharing her yoke spreadsheet chart with me. I modified the decreases from her chart so that before the last flower repeat, I had 156 stitches (multiple of 12). This maths took me awhile to think about, but I found this knitting evenly across row calculator which helped a lot.


  • After the chart, I decreased down to the the stated 114, but it was already too high on my neck so I skipped short rows, did only 4 rows of ribbing and BOed.

Tools/Notions: Stitch holders, scrap yarn.
Cost of Project: I used about $35 of yarn.
Would I knit it again? No.
Helpful Links:

Have a good weekend! For more FOs, go to Tami’s Amis.

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