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A Kimono for Baby (And the Picot Cast-on!)

Mar 19, 2010

The Harvey Kimono by Louisa Harding, pattern available in Natural Knits for Babies and Moms
Sometimes a pattern just grabs you and won't let go. That happened to me with the Harvey Kimono by Louisa Harding.

In my November 9 post, I put this project on my calendar for summer, but I couldn't wait. One of my friends is expecting a baby and when she told me it was going to be a girl, I cast on immediately!

This pattern is called the Harvey Kimono, but I just can't bring myself to call the girl version "Harvey," so I renamed it "Hannah."

I love knitting baby clothes; for me, it's as close to instant gratification that knitting can offer. I knit this little sweater in three evenings! I'm so happy with my little Hannah, and I know my friend will be, too.

The Picot Cast-On

The "Hannah" Cardigan by Louisa Harding. Kathleen's version, knit in Patons Katrina.

There are so many cute things about this pattern, but what makes it for me is the picot detail at the hem, neckline, and cuffs. This technique doesn't look easy to do, but it is.

The directions say "Using the cable method, *CO 5 sts, BO 2 sts, slip st on right needle to left needle; rep from *—3 sts CO for each rep.

So, we know that CO = cast-on, BO = bind-off, and sts = stitches, right? Good. The cable method of casting on is really easy (plus, no tail to estimate!—click on the link above if you need a lesson), so we're set to go.

1. Cast on a total of 5 stitches.

2. Bind off two stitches. (You'll have 2 stiches on the left-hand needle and 1 stitch on the right-hand needle.)

3. Slip the stitch on the right-hand needle onto the left-hand needle. (You'll have 3 stitches on the left-hand needle, with a space after the first two stitches, which is where you bound off the two stitches to make the picot. The stitch you slipped off of the right-hand needle counts as the first stitch in your next group of five.)

4. Use the cable cast-on to cast on 4 more stitches so you have 5 stitches after your last picot.

Repeat steps 2 through 5 until you have the required number of stitches cast on.

For those of you who are visual learners, here's a video for you.

When I did this cast on the first time, I was confused by the last part of the directions, "3 sts CO for each rep." I thought that meant that you cast on 3 stitches after each picot step, which gave me a total of only 4 stitches per picot step instead of 5, and that didn't work with the directions of repeating from the asterisk. I reread the directions a couple of times and it clicked that there were 3 stitches cast-on to the needle after I did each picot repeat.

Then I had to think twice because if I cast on 5 stitches for each picot repeat, I'd be working with 6 stitches instead of the original 5. That's why I cast on 4 stitches for each repeat, as noted in step 4, for a total of 5 stitches for each repeat. I like how that looks in the cast on, too. If you add more stitches, you'll cast on more stitches each time to you do the repeat, and you'll have more space between your picots. It's up to you!

I hope you'll try this pattern from Natural Knits for Babies and Moms—you'll find lots of precious little baby knits in this book to go with your Hannah or Harvey Kimono.


Amber's Cabled Raglan Baby Sweater

P.S. If you haven't downloaded our free eBook Baby Patterns from Knitting Daily: 7 FREE Baby Knitting Patterns, get yours now. And please forward this email to friends you think might enjoy some free baby knitting patterns, too! I forwarded it to my friend Amber, who made the Cabled Raglan Baby Sweater, shown at right. She wanted a kimono look, so she made the arms a little wider. Nicely done, Amber!


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MaureenG@4 wrote
on Jun 2, 2013 12:03 AM

I am confused.  Are the picot cast-on and the cable cast-on the same?

chezwilli wrote
on Jan 20, 2011 3:39 PM

how do you do picot edging on a neckline?  do you hav to knit it seperately then stitch it on afterwards, or reser ve some stitches and knit in the round?

IJuanaKnit wrote
on Jun 23, 2010 6:01 PM

Thanks so much for great instructional video. My picot edging looks great. Now I have another question about the Baby Kimono pattern. Size-up to 3 mos.

Left Front- Shape Front Edge. After I BO the 7 Stitches, it says 'then BO 5 Sts. at beg of following WS rows 2 times. Does this mean to BO on the next 2 WS rows?

Thanks for the help.

acarrasco wrote
on Apr 6, 2010 1:23 PM

Thanks Kathleen!  It was really fun and easy to make :)

saraeirich wrote
on Mar 30, 2010 10:56 AM

This is so cool and so much fun to learn! Thank you for the video as well.

I was trying to figure out how to bind off so that it would look the same as when I cast on (for the other end of a blanket) and I think I sort of figured it out but thought you might have exact instructions. I think I just kept binding off 3, and then adding 2 to slowly work it off the needles. Just wondering if there is a better way to do this.

Thank you!

Mgteague wrote
on Mar 24, 2010 10:11 PM

I found the errata but I still think there is a problem.  Shouldn't the length of the side be the same as the length of the back (e.g. 3  1/2 inches).  My book and the errata says 2 1/2/ inches.  I haven't knit the sleeves, so something in the construction might fix this, but....

Mgteague wrote
on Mar 24, 2010 10:05 PM

Is it just my interpretation or is there a mistake in the pattern in the book?  Is there errata?

quinn@3 wrote
on Mar 22, 2010 12:15 PM

Kathleen, thank you SO MUCH for posting the video of the picot cast on!!  I've been trying to figure out an alternative to the YO row I use on socks, which then requires stitching the hem on the inside - not my best skill.  I'll be trying this cast on for my next pair of socks!  :)

Thank you -


on Mar 21, 2010 6:59 PM


The out of focus video is hard to follow.  If you look carefully at your video, the ball of yarn in the back and the yarn coming from the ball is is focus, so you have the focal length of your camera set to the wrong distance.  Also, you keep moving your fingers over the stitches so that it is difficult to see what you are doing.  I often find that instructors who use way too large needles (say  a US17) and bulky yarn to demonstrate things are able to keep their hands and fingers out of the way so that it is easier to see what they are doing.  As with most instructional videos, it is easier to see and understand if you exaggerate the movements.  Also, for those of us with slower internet connections, if you move slower, the movements come out smoother on video, especially the low resolution of youtube.

on Mar 20, 2010 2:58 PM

After watching the picot cast-on video, I thought I would just add the way I was taught to make a picot edge when I learned to knit some fifty-odd years ago, in England.

Stocking stitch the first four rows, then do a row of knit two together, yarn over needle, then purl the next row and continue as usual. When you are finished the piece, turn the hem to the inside on the eyelet row you made with the K2tog, yo. This gives a pretty edge to baby sweaters.

Jean Morgan

Diane@6 wrote
on Mar 20, 2010 1:17 AM

What a cool cast-on.  You could use that to cast on socks and have a decorative edge around the top.  How so cool!!!  Thank you for the visual version.

lemony wrote
on Mar 19, 2010 7:50 PM

I am new to knitting and appreciate the video. I had no problem with the quality. Seemed just fine to me. Thanks for the very clear instructions too. I watched it several times.

on Mar 19, 2010 2:14 PM

I'll post a better video ASAP. Sorry about that, folks!

KathyJ@4 wrote
on Mar 19, 2010 12:54 PM

Thanks Kathleen for the video. I love the convenience of YouTube video for teaching/learning new techniques, but unfortunately, the video here for the Picot Cast-on is blurry (a common, yet disappointing, trait of print photos in IK print publications where the pattern stitches and detail are not quite in focus), and the actual stitches on the needle cannot be seen at all because the camera is too far away from the needles.

I am sure many folks would appreciate a clear video of this cast-on technique.

I understand that using dark brown needles against a white back drop is to improve the contrast to help the viewer see the content better.

But the purplish worsted weight yarn lacks adequate contrast against the needles, and the camera is so far away from the needles that none of the stitches are visible. I have a large, very high quality 40" video monitor, and I can't make out a stitch.

Just look at how much easier it is to "see" what is going on in these two instructional videos I quickly found on YouTube (just type "knitting instructions" in the YouTube search box):

Long-tail Cast-on:

Slip Knot:

on Mar 19, 2010 11:13 AM

Hi Karen,

I had Katrina in my stash. I'm sad they discontinued it, too. It's a wonderful yarn! I have a little pink left, and a skein of brown, so I think I'll do another baby project. I love pink and brown together.


Rebecca@8 wrote
on Mar 19, 2010 8:58 AM

Another photo of the cabled raglan. I made this for my nephew, and added the textured heart motif around the hem.

KarenN@7 wrote
on Mar 19, 2010 8:19 AM


I noticed that you knit your adorable kimono with Paton's Katrina yarn.  Did you have this in your stash, or have they resurrected this lovely yarn?   I used to use it all the time, but thought it was discontinued a couple of years ago.  I'd be a really happy knitter if this yarn was available again!  By the way, I just love your instructional videos.  


FionaW@2 wrote
on Mar 19, 2010 7:39 AM

I think it is worth pointing out that casting on using the method given in this post will result in 2 stitches cast on for each picot repeat, not 3 as per the pattern.