A step by step guide to knitting the super sweet Alice Jumper.
Ever gotten half way through a project and thought “Hang on, am I even doing this right?”
We have 🙋♀️
That’s why we’ve created these step by step overviews to help guide you through the knitting process.
At each stage we’ll show you how each section your jumper should look, and at the end, how to sew it all together. Voilà! We’ve also included videos below covering the main techniques and stitches. So head on down to the bottom of the page if you just need a quick visual reference.
THE ALICE JUMPER
Alice is as sweet as sugar and bright as sunshine. A lover of all things bright, she rocks three horizontal bands of colour. With a boxy-cropped shape and statement stripes Alice is a sure-fire standout.
YOUR JUMPER PATTERN
Learning to knit can feel like learning code. We've stripped away the complicated jargon and tried to keep things really simple. If your head is still spinning a little, here's a handy video to help you better understand the layout of your pattern.
TEST YOUR TENSION
Before we dive in let's check that the tension is in line with what we need. We knit a swatch to make sure the tension is juuuust right. It's a bit like goldilocks, if the tension is too tight, your jumper will be too small, and if it's too loose it may not hold it's shape and might be too big.
If done correctly, your 10x10cm swatch should knit 7 stitches and 9 rows.
Before we get started, learn all the basics with our how to video. This one covers Casting on, 1x1 Rib stitch, Knit stitch, Purl stitch and Casting off. Once you've got these mastered you'll find this pattern is a cinch!
ONTO THE KNIT!
You can knit the Alice in size 1, 2 or 3. Each piece of the jumper is knitted flat, at the end we'll stitch each panel together to make your cozy masterpiece. Your pattern is read like this: 1 (2,3).
Okay guys, so we start with the back panel, it’s the simplest piece of the knit and will give you the confidence as you move onto other pieces.
We knit from the bottom up, stating at the rib and going up to the shoulders.
First, we cast the required number of stitches using your 10mm circular needles. We recommend using the two needle technique. Two needle knit cast on uses your two needles (surprise!), starting with a slip knot on your left needle, each stitch is knitted to form a new loop and this loop is then added to your left needle. You repeat until you’ve made the desired number of stitches.
💡 Casting on, like many things in knitting, can be done in a number of ways - our suggestion is a simple technique but you can pick any that’s right for you.
Once you've cast on the right number of stitches you move on to the rib. We knit the rib following the instructions in your pattern.
1x1 Rib Stitch is a textured pattern usually used on the cuffs and necks of jumpers. It’s made by alternating knit and purl stitches in the same row, then knitting the same stitch in the next row. When doing your Rib Stitch it’s important to make sure your yarn is on the correct side of your needles (at the back for knit stitches and at the front for purl stitches.)
Once we've finished the allocated amount of rows, we switch to the 15mm straight needles.
💡 To switch to a different size needle we just hold the new needle in our right hand and knit onto it.
You'll work in stockinette stitch for the rest of the back panel.
Stockinette Stitch (or stocking stitch) is a basic stitch that most knitting patterns often don't explain! You create stockinette stitch by knitting one row and purling the next. This means all of your knit stitches (the little Vs) will be on the right side of your jumper.
Simple right?! 😎
You'll see throughout the back panel we change yarn colours a few times. Changing your yarn is easy. When you get to the end of the row, you simply secure the end of the old and new balls together by tying a loose knot with the new yarn around the tail of the current colour and sliding it up to the needle. Tighten the knot at the needle and start knitting the new row with the new colour yarn.
When you've finished the last row of the back panel you cast off your stitches.
To cast off, knit two stitches then slip the first stitch on your right needle back over the second stitch and off the needle. You’ll have one stitch left on your right needle. Knit another stitch so you’ve got two stitches on your right needle and then slip the first stitch off. Continue to the end of the row. When you’ve got the last stitch on your right needle, cut the yarn and thread this through the final stitch to secure.
The front is knitted up in the same way as the back, starting at the rib and working up through stockinette stitch.
The neckline is where it gets a little tricky, but it's nothing you can't master!
To create the neck hole we split the panel into its shoulder sides and cast off a bunch of stitches in the middle. You'll knit the right shoulder up first and then tackle the gap for the neck and the left shoulder. So from step 10 you're going to just work the stitches for the first shoulder, back and forth, turning your work at each step. The rest of your stitches will just hang around on your needle- you'll come back to them later. Once you've finished the first shoulder panel, you'll cast off your stitches for that shoulder. Cut your yarn and thread it through your last stitch to secure it.
This is what it look like when you've done two rows of shoulder one, ignore the colours, this is the Bec!
This is what it looks like when you re-attach your yarn.
And how it should look after you've cast off your middle stitches and finished row one of shoulder two:
💡Just remember you knit all the rows to complete one shoulder before you move onto the next. It will seem a little weird on the first shoulder because you’ve got all the extra stitches sitting on your needle but that’s totally correct.
Okay, onto the arms! You'll need two of these too! 😊
Now for these we start from the top of the arm and work down. We knit this piece flat just like the front and back.
Using your 15mm needles, you'll knit the allocated rows of stockinette stitch working through your bands of colours as the pattern details.
Okay, now before we get to the ribbed cuff we need to decrease some stitches so the sleeve tapers nicely. We do this by knitting two stitches together. So first knit three stitches like normal, then we're going to start knitting two together. It's really easy, you just pick up 2 stitches with your right needle instead of the normal one, and then knit the stitches as you normally would. You'll finish with 3 stitches remaining and you'll knit these as normal.
Once that’s done you swap to the 10mm needles and start your rib stitch.
💡 When you cast off make sure it’s not too tight otherwise you’ll have a really tight wrist hole.
SEWING IT TOGETHER
Now it’s time to get to work with the darning needle to sew your masterpiece together. We lay our pieces flat and sew them together one by one.
Step 1: lay your front and back pieces on a flat surface, the right sides facing you.
Step 2 (blue): Sew the shoulder panels together using the invisible seam technique, and leaving the hole for your head.
Step 3 (yellow): Time to attach the sleeves to the body. Make sure the middle of your sleeve is lined up with the shoulder seam. This will ensure the seam of your sleeve is right under your armpit, not half way around your arm! Once you've made sure it's all lined up, sew the sleeves to the shoulders.
Step 4 (orange): Fold your jumper in half so it looks like the shape of a T. With the wrong sides facing each other, we're going to sew it together using a Mattress Stitch, from the cuff all the way up the arm to the arm pit, then down the side seam to the bottom of your jumper. And then repeat this on the other side.
💡 We suggest trying to match the colour yarn you use to the jumper to keep it as invisible as possible. It's normal for the wool to get a bit shabby as you go, so we recommend using a few pieces and tying them together underneath as you go!
We've included handy videos below for both the invisible seam and mattress stitch.
Okay guys almost done!!! The last part is to finish off the neckline. The neck is kitted in 1x1 rib stitch - you’ll be pretty good at this now!
So first things first. We pick up 36 (40, 40) stitches in equal distance from around the neck hole using our 10mm circular needles. There are a few different ways to do this but we’ve included a video of our fav technique below. Once you’ve got all your stitches on your needles you join the loop together and start the rib stitch. We knit the rib in the round, which means instead of knitting back and forth, we knit in a continued loop. It’s a good idea to loop a hair tie or spare piece of yarn over your needle when you start so you can keep track of each loop.
Knit in the round until you’ve completed 5 loops then cast off.
💡 Now this part is critical! Cast of extra loosely!! You need a loose cast off in order to be able to fit your head through the hole. Rib stitch has a stretch to it, but if you cast off too tightly you'll have a hole that's too small for your head to fit through. Been there, done that and DON'T recommend 😝
The last thing we do for every piece is weave in the ends. That’s basically just tidying up the piece so all loose ends are trimmed down and tucked in.
CHANGING YOUR YARN BALLS
A final tip to keep in mind.
You'll need to change your wool balls at points in the process - when you finish one ball and starting another. If you’re just starting a new ball of the same colour then the best method for beginners is when you've got about 20cm of wool left on your current ball, you incorporate the tail from the new ball into your next stitch. You do this by starting your next stitch with your new tail and knitting on with that new ball, making sure the loose ends for both balls are on the wrong side/inside of your knit. Then all you need to do is tie the two ends together in a knot.
VIDEOS FOR A BIT OF EXTRA HELP!
Don't worry, YouTube was our best friend when we taught ourselves how to knit.
Here are some videos that should be helpful but feel free to go searching for your own. There are a number of techniques people use for a lot of the common stitches in knitting so there's no one right way.
Find what works for you! If you get stuck, reach out to us and we'll give you a hand! 😎
Testing your gauge
1x1 Rib Stitch
Decrease a stitch