Totoro Mittens

I like knitting things like mittens even though I can’t use them myself. When I saw this pattern, I immediately added it to the list of things I could make for Emma over at Puddleside Musings. (Totoro and sloths are two of the things I know she likes.)

Project Details

PATTERN: Norwegian Totoro Mittens by brella

NEEDLES: 4mm and 4.5mm DPNs
GAUGE: 28×28 (10cm) in stranded knitting
SIZE: S (adult woman)


  • 1.6 balls (160m) Drops Karisma in 01 Off White
  • 0.4 balls (105m) Robin DK in 027 Silver

STARTED: 12th November, 2019
FINISHED: 24th November, 2019

I originally intended for these to be a stash buster and used Robin DK in 016 Apple instead of the Karisma. I used 4mm needles.

However, while the contrast looks good for simple stripes a la Russ’s striped mitts, it is not good enough for stranded knitting. (And yes, I did get halfway through a mitt before realising it just wasn’t going to work like this.)

After plenty of umming and ahhing and checking my stash, I decided to go with the grey Robin DK and Drops Karisma in off-white. I don’t normally like to mix fibres (mostly because I’m not nearly practised enough to really understand what I’m doing) but I also didn’t want to have to buy anymore yarn if I could help it. (This was a stashbusting project, after all, and right before Christmas, too.)

The off-white looks so much better with the grey than the green did. The contrast is sharp enough to really see the pattern as it works up — although the cast-on edge (cream) looks thicker somehow than it did originally in the grey/grey…).

I used 4mm needles for the ribbing but switched to 4.5mm DPNs for the stranded knitting this time because it seemed a bit tight on the first go. I have kind of huge hands, though, so now I’m worried it’s too big.


18th November, 2019:

I finished the first mitt today (minus blocking and weaving in the ends). It’s too tight for me (I could easily go another 10st for something to fit myself) but it fits two of my PAs nicely so I’m pretty sure it will fit the recipient.

I love how this turned out, but I don’t like the thumb. It’s too long and the tip is bulky, like you couldn’t actually fit anything in there (if your thumb or thumbnail was super long) and it just kind of… kinks and hangs around there at the end. I’m hoping it will block out because it just looks ridiculous, but I have no idea how to fix it so I may just have to accept it.

I learned a new technique (three needle bind-off) and got to practise my stranded knitting.


19th November, 2019:

Cast on the second mitt yesterday and finished the 16 rows of ribbing today.

24th November, 2019:

Cast off the second mitt and put them on the blocking mat, ends woven in. I can’t find my water spritzer, so they’re dry blocking for now. I’m hoping the stitches will at least relax a bit because they’re a little tight.


I’m not sure what happened, but the thumb on the left mitt is closer to the side than the one on the right.  There was also a large hole either side of the base of the thumb on the second mitt that I didn’t manage to close off during knitting, so I had to sew them shut after binding off.

But they’re done, and they look good! I can only hope they fit!


Mittens are a great way to practice stranded knitting, and these look so cute that I almost kept them. Emma liked them, too, so I call these a win!

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