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

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!


Other Things You May Like to Check Out:


Baby, Cast on, Knitting Daily Blog
Kathleen Cubley

About Kathleen Cubley

Hello daily knitters! I'm the editor of Knitting Daily. I've been obsessed with knitting for about ten years now and my favorite projects are sweaters. I like the occasional smaller project, but there's nothing like yards of stockinette with a well-placed cable or a subtle stitch pattern here and there. I crochet a bit now and then—especially when I need to produce a baby blanket in time for the baby shower. I've been in publishing for 20 years and I'm finally exactly where I want to be: at the crossroads of knitting and communication. I live in Spokane, Washington and when I'm not knitting I enjoy gardening, snuggling with my dogs, swimming, reading, and playing in the snow in the winter. But, really, I'm pretty much always knitting!

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

  1. 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.

  2. Kathleen,

    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.


  3. 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.


  4. 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:

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Kathleen,
    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.

  8. 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 –

  9. 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!

  10. 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.