Alterknitive's Blog


 Kimono Cardigan Knitting Pattern




Two friends and I all have our Birthdays in the same week of July.  Always a good week!  I decided I would make them something – a kimono cardigan each.  Boy, did I bite off more than I could chew!


Having only knit scarves, hats and rectangular shrugs before, I thought it was time I attempted a “proper” garment.  I found the pattern in Woman’s Weekly magazine, and thought I can do that.  So I cast on, and began to knit.


My first attempt took four and a half weeks – I am not the fastest knitter in the world!  The pattern was unnecessarily complicated so, running out of time before the Birthday week, I simplified it and started the second.  I got it down to three and a half weeks!


Knitting these garments was indeed a long, hard slog, but I got there in the end.  My friends loved them.  Maybe one day, when I get over the repetitive strain injury, I’ll make one for myself. 






This pattern was originally a Woman’s Weekly magazine pull out pattern, designed by Martin Storey.  I changed the stitch pattern and knitting method to simplify it.  Therefore, I would say that this pattern should be for personal use only.




Approx 400g double knit yarn.

3.25mm straight needles

3.25mm circular needle (optional)

3.75mm straight needles

Stitch holder

Yarn needle

Row counter (optional)




One size fits all, 32” to 38” chest.




This is an ideal first garment project.  The skills required are not particularly difficult, and if necessary can be learned as you go along.


Casting on and off

Stockingette stitch

K1 P1 rib

Increasing and decreasing

Picking up stitches along edge of work to knit (Don’t panic!  Here’s a simple tutorial:

Weaving in ends

Sewing seams.

TIP:  When shaping, always do your increases or decreases one or two stitches from the edge of knitting to ensure a smooth edge for picking up stitches or sewing seams.



The main body is knitted in one piece from back to front, and the edgings knitted on at the end.




With 3.25mm straight needles, CO 95 sts.

Knit in K1 P1 rib for 24 rows

Change to 3.75mm needles and knit 4 rows in stockingette (K1 row right side, P1 row wrong side).

Inc 1 st at beginning of next 8 rows.

CO 6 sts at beginning of next 6 rows

CO 12 sts at beginning of next two rows.

Continue in stockingette stitch for 107 rows (here’s where your row counter comes in handy!)

Knit (or purl, depending on what row you are on) 59 sts.  BO 45 sts.  K 59 sts.

Knit (or purl) back across 59 sts to BO, and put sts after BO on a stitch holder.

Knit 7 rows in stockingette.


Right Front


Continuing in stockingette pattern, *increase 1 st at inside front edge (as opposed to outside sleeve edge).   Knit a further 7 rows. *

Repeat from * another 10 times.

(Note: when I say knit, I mean continue in stockingette).


*inc 1 st at inside edge and knit across

Knit 5 rows*

Repeat from * once.


BO 12 sts at outer sleeve edge.

Inc 1 st at inside edge.

*BO 6 sts at sleeve edge

Knit *

Repeat from * twice.


Knit next row.

Dec 1 st at outer sleeve edge on next 4 rows.

Inc. 1 st at inside edge

Dec 1 st at outer edge.


Dec 1 st at outer edge


Dec 1 st at outer edge

Inc 1 st at inner edge

Dec 1 st at outer edge

Knit a further 4 rows.





Thread sts from stitch holder onto 3.75mm needle and knit as per right front, ensuring increases and decreases are done at correct edges.




With 3.25mm circular needle, and with right side facing, pick up and knit around inside front edge, around neck edge, and back down other front edge (as per tutorial above).  If you don’t have a circular needle, pick up and knit stitches to centre of neck edge.  Do this on both sides and sew together at the end. 


Work in K1 P1 rib for 24 rows and then BO on wrong side.




Pick up and knit along both sleeve edges as above on 3.25mm straight needles.  Work 24 rows in K1 P1 rib.  BO on wrong side.




From outside edge inwards with right side facing, pick up and knit along bottom edge at the front.  At inside edge, CO 75 sts.  Work all sts in K1 P1 rib for 24 rows.  BO.




Sew side seams from front lower border, along waist shaping to the sleeve edge on both sides, et viola, your kimono is done!  Wash as per your yarn’s instructions, and dry on a flat surface.  Iron on your iron’s wool setting.  You are ready to wear your creation!



  1. Somewhere (now lost in the archives of my mind) I saw a pattern for a worsted weight kimono cardigan. I thought it might be good for the seasonal transition period. Can you help me locate it? Your pattern seems a bit lightweight to me. Thanks.

    Comment by susan g — 09/03/2009 @ 1:15 am |Reply

    • Hi. This pattern is done in double knit yarn (8 ply), but I suppose you could adapt it for chunkier yarn. I haven’t seen the pattern you mentioned for a worsted weight kimono cardi. Sorry.

      Comment by alterknitive — 07/05/2009 @ 3:02 pm |Reply

  2. Nice kimono

    Comment by vsint shendy — 28/05/2011 @ 12:28 pm |Reply

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