Sunday, 23 October 2016

fo: totoro brick jumper

Pattern: Brick Jumper
Yarn: Women's Institute Soft and Smooth (Aran in colours biscuit and purple)
Ravelry project page: here
A few years ago, not long after I first learnt to knit, I wanted to knit a Totoro jumper for myself; I found a free jumper pattern online, I had just enough white wool from mum's stash that I could knit it, and I even used a free online cross stitch chart to design the (what I now realise should have been an instaria) chart to knit the picture!
I knit it all up - but bear in mind, as a beginner I had no concept of tension or how to knit colourwork, nor did I try anything on, so when I finished the jumper turned out to be 3 sizes too small - doh! In the end, it wasn't wasted at least and it did become a cushion cover.

Flash forward to a couple of month's ago, and I was ready to try again! There is a lovely yoke jumper design that I'd like to knit one day wasn't up to my tension this time (see, I'm learning!) so instead I pulled one together myself. I had saved this pattern on Pinterest a long time ago, and it's a lovely regular shape that I liked.
Once I'd familiarised myself with the jumper pattern, which is knit top-down in-the-round, I worked out the length I would need to get to to start incorporating this straightforward but very clear Totoro chart. It was a simple enough repeat that I could knit it in fair isle while it being quite obvious who the character was.
I really liked the little details on the existing chart, which was originally designed for mittens and accessories, and I didn't want to lose this if I could so I included it on the sleeves, which carries the design and colour changes quite nicely throughout the jumper.It also softens the colour switches between the main jumper and the cuffs. 
I don't think it was needed on the collar however, and I really like the scoop neck - that's one of my favourite collars on jumpers and tops, soft and flattering. I just bought a plain, large jumper from H&M which I'm going to have a go at replicating with some yarn I bought last year *looks sheepish* :)

The yarn is 100% acrylic, which I know I know might not be ideal, but I do love the colours and it's incredibly soft, easy to wash, and very affordable; £10 for 500g, plus Hobbycraft always have 3 for 2 on yarn, so I bought 1500g for £20, and I have PLENTY left over for much more knitting. 

All in all I am delighted with the jumper! I haven't had a chance to wear it out yet, but it is definitely getting cold enough that I can, and I am pretty excited to crack it out for work :) When I do wear it out, I will be sure to share some more pictres, because I wasn't very happy with this 'shoot' (sorry Ben, I know you're not a professional and thank you for taking the pictures!). Also, my hair was very faded here and I have since re-dyed it in a much deeper, glossy purple yum yum. 

But I digress, I am delighted to finally have the Totoro jumper that I wanted, and I hope to be able to wear it over and over! What I really need to do now, is to get to grips with double knitting so I can make these Totoro mittens; it's only a matter of time. I am actually in full Christmas present knitting mode now though however, woohoo, but I am still going to share my project updates as I am finished, because no-one knows what they are getting :) spoiler alert - no blankets this year however.

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