Knitted Japanese Kimono, a child cardigan

I wanted to knit a child cardigan for my god daughter. I found a knitted Japanese kimono pattern at Lion Brand and decided to try it.

The pattern is known as the Jasmine Kimono. It seems easy and do-able within a month for my god-daughter who will be visiting with her mum. I wanted to use this bamboo cotton blend yarn that I bought in China.


The picture here shows the yarn in a cheery orange colour but I thought a pleasant yellow is nicer for a young girl.

I couldn’t get the specified gauge though. I swatched with different needles but couldn’t even come close. Fortunately, the pattern came with the diagram and dimensions. I decided to use the gauge I can achieved with my yarn and needles, re-calculate the stitches and rows needed to cast on and knit to achieve the size I want.

My gauge using 3.5mm needles is 26 stitches x 32 rows to 4 inches.

BACK


I cast on 79 stitches for the back and started the stockinette stitch. (For beginners: stockinette is achieved when you knit 1 row and purl 1 row. Keep knitting 1 row and purling the next row until the desired length is achieved.)

Back of the kimono

INCREASING FOR THE SLEEVES

I knitted a total of 56 rows to reach the length I wanted for the armpits. With the right side facing (i.e. the knit row), I cast on 23 stitches on both ends to create the sleeves. A total of 125 stitches on the needles.

Starting on the sleeves

After the cast on, I continue to knit the stockinette until I reach the point where I need to shape the neck which is about 40 rows.

SHAPING THE NECK

Shaping the neck


With the right side facing, place 46 stitches on a stitch-holder. Bind off the next 33 stitches. Knit across the last 46 stitches. With the 46 stitches left on the needles, continue the stockinette for 8 rows.

Increasing for the right front

STARTING THE LEFT FRONT
With right side facing, start the increase for the left front as follows:


Row 1 – Knit 2, Make 1, Knit all (To make 1, simply add make a loop)
Row 2 – Purl to last 2 sts, Make 1, Knit all.

Repeat these 2 rows 40 times including the first 2 rows. A total of 86 stitches

THE LEFT SLEEVE

With wrong side facing, bind off 23 stitches to create the left sleeve. Continue with the increase even at the row that you bind off. Continue with the increase until there is a total of 79 stitches on the needles.

Continue the stockinette without any more increase for another 56 rows. Bind off.

STARTING THE RIGHT FRONT

Pick up the 46 stitches on the stitch holder and start the increase for the right front as follows:

Row 1 – Knit to last 2 stitches, Make 1, Knit 2
Row 2 – Purl 2, Make 1, Knit all.

Repeat these 2 rows 40 times including the first 2 rows. A total of 86 stitches.

THE RIGHT SLEEVE

With the right side facing, bind off 23 stitches to create the right sleeve. Continue with the increase even at the row that you bind off. Continue with the increase until there is a total of 79 stitches on the needles.

Continue the stockinette without any more increase for another 56 rows. Bind off.

WASHING & BLOCKING
Before sewing the seams, wash and block the kimono. After blocking, I seamed up the sides.

MAKING THE TIES

I modified the pattern again when I was knitting up the ties. Instead of knitting 2 long ties and leaving a hole in the right seam for the tie to go through, I decided to knit 4 ties. 2 ties for the inner right side and 2 for the outside left side. I think it would be easier for mummies to secure the cardigan one side at a time.

Ties were made by picking up 5 stitches at the selected positions using a crochet hook and making a single crochet before placing it on the knitting needle. I used a single ribbing pattern to create a thick flat tie of about 8 inches.

Single ribbing pattern

Row 1 – Knit 1, Purl 1, Knit 1, Purl 1, Knit 1
Row 2 – Purl 1, Knit 1, Purl 1, Knit 1, Purl 1

Continue the single ribbing until each tie measures 8 inches. Bind off.

Weave in all the loose ends and you are done. Now for some embellishments and a photo shoot.