The Vanessa Jumper

The Vanessa Jumper

A step-by-step guide to knitting the Vanessa V-Neck Jumper

Ever gotten halfway 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 guides to walk you through the knitting process. 

Even if you've never knitted before, we'll take you from zero to knitting hero in no time 🦸‍♀️

When it comes to knitting, practice makes perfect

Before we get started on the pattern we suggest you spend a bit of time learning the basic stitches you’ll need to complete your masterpiece. 

The Vanessa Jumper is a great project if you've knitted one or two cosy masterpieces before and it's an excellent introduction to knitting in the round. If you're a total beginner you'll want to be confident with the knit stitch and its friend the purl stitch before we start. We put the knit and purl stitches together to make a rib stitch and a stockinette stitch. You'll also want to get the hang of knitting in the round. 

You can use the yarn that came in your kit to practice with. Once you've got these mastered you'll find the pattern a cinch! 

Total beginner? 👩‍🏫 

For a more comprehensive lesson on the basics of knitting visit our Learn How To Knit page. 

Onto the Jumper!

⚡️What you'll need

Your kit comes with everything you'll need to make your masterpiece. In your kit you'll find;

  • 12mm and 15mm circular needles
  • 5 to 7 balls of Cardigang Chunky Merino Wool
  • Stitch markers
  • A darning needle
  • Made by me tag

You also want to have a pair of scissors handy. 

📏 Sizing and measurements

You can make your Vanessa Jumper in 5 sizes. 

(laying flat)

58.5cm wide x 50cm high


64cm wide x 54cm high

14-16 70cm wide x 59cm high
18-20 75.5cm wide x 63cm high
22-24 78.5cm wide x 63cm high

Your pattern is read like this; 6-8 (10-12, 14-16, 18-20, 22-24). Make sure you're following the correct instructions for your size. 

🥣 Test your tension

Before you start your project, make sure your tension (how tightly or loosely your knitting is) is juuuust right. We do this by knitting a “tension swatch”. It's a bit like goldilocks, if the tension is too tight, your piece will be too small, and if it's too loose it may not hold its shape and might be too big. 

Gauge: If done correctly, your 10x10cm knitted swatch should be 7 stitches wide and 10 rows high when knitted in stockinette stitch on your 15mm needles. 

To test this, jump on your needles - use the yarn and needles that came in your kit. Cast on around 12-14 stitches, then knit in stockinette stitch (knit all stitches in your first row, purl all stitches in the next - repeat) for around 12-14 rows. Then measure a 10x10cm square and count your stitches and rows within that space to make sure you're knitting at the correct tension. 

If you've got more stitches or rows than the instructions say you should have, your knitting is a little too tight, and if you've got less your knitting is too loose. Adjust your tension by holding the yarn a little more tightly/loosely as you knit.

💡 We know knitting a tension swatch can seem like a bit of a drain, but it's really important because the difference of a few millimetres in your tension can lead to a finished piece this is quite different in size to what you intended. 

🧶 Let's knit up a storm!

Time to get click-clacking and whip up your cosy jumper.

We knit our jumper in pieces. Starting with the back piece, then the front. We'll then sew these two pieces together and knit the v-neck rib, before we pick up stitches and knit our sleeves in the round to finish.

Remember learning a new skill can be a little challenging at first, and you’re bound to find yourself making some mistakes along the way. But as with learning anything, your brain and your hands slowly start to get the hang of it, muscle memory is created, and soon the thing you found tricky/daunting/scary is like second nature! 💪


We knit the back piece of our jumper first. It's one big rectangle so it's the simplest piece to start with! 


Step 1:

Cast on the required number of stitches using your 12mm needles.

Hot tip: your piece will 'grow' as you knit so don't be alarmed if it looks like you're knitting a baby's jumper to start with! 

Step 2:

We’ll work the allocated rows of 1x1 rib stitch. To create a rib we knit 1 stitch, then purl the next, then knit the next, then purl the next and repeat. 

💭 Make sure you’re moving your yarn tail from the back to the front of your work between each stitch (bring the yarn in through the middle of the stitches) to ensure the rib is executed correctly. 

Step 3:

Let's change to your 15mm needles and we're going to knit the rest of the back piece in stockinette stitch. 

💭 To switch to a different size needle we just hold the new needle (in this case the 12mm needle) in our right hand and the current needle with your work on it in your left hand. Then knit the stitches from your left needle onto the new needle in your right hand. 

We create a stockinette stitch pattern by knitting all stitches in one row, then purling all stitches in the next. 

Step 4:

Cast off the stitches for your back panel. When you've got just one stitch left on your right needle, simply cut your yarn from the ball (leaving about 20cm) and thread it back through your last stitch to secure it 🔥 Nice work, your biggest piece is DONE!  


Good news! The front panel is knitted up in the same way as the back until we reach row 28 (32, 34, 36, 36).

Vanessa jumper

Step 1-3:

Repeat the same steps as you followed for the front. 

Step 4:

We're going to start shaping the neckline now. To do this, we split the work in two down the middle, and then we'll knit up each side of the v-neck.

In the first row of our neckline we're going to knit the stitches for the first side of the v-neck, then cast off a single stitch in the middle (this marks the middle of our v) and then knit to the end of the row for the second side of the v-neck. 

Step 5-11:

Next, we'll knit the first side of our v-neck up.

We're going to create some shape around the v by knitting some stitches together on our knit rows. Watch the video below to see how that's done.

📹 Watch How to Slip Slip Knit

💭 The stitches for the other side of the v-neck will just hang out on your needle until we're ready to knit up the other side. 

Once you've completed the rows, you'll cast off your stitches for the first shoulder.

Step 12-18:

Let's knit up the second side now 💪 

You'll want to reattach your yarn to the stitch closest to the end of your needle. Make sure the purl stitches (the little bumps) are facing you because you're starting on a purl row. 

We're going to mirror the shaping we did on the previous side by knitting some stitches together in our knit rows. This time the technique is slightly different because we want the angle of our stitches to mirror those on the opposite shoulder. 

📹 Watch How To Knit Two Stitches Together

Once you've completed the rows you'll cast off. 

And that's the front piece D.O.N.E! 🕺 Time for a happy dance!


Grab your darning needle, we're going to sew our shoulders together now. 

Line up your cast-off edges from the front and back piece making sure the outer edges are lined up correctly - otherwise, your head hole will be a little off-centre! 

Then sew the cast-off edges together working from the edge of the piece and sewing inwards. 

We use a technique called the invisible seam technique which gives us a nice neat join. In the video below, we cover two variations of the technique - you can pick which you prefer! 

📹 Watch How To Sew Cast Off Edges Together


Okay knitting QWEEN, this is the most challenging part of our knit. Are you up for it?! YES! 🙋‍♀️

Step 1:

You'll need your stitch markers for this part and we're going to be knitting in the round or in loops to create our rib. 

To start, we're going to pick up stitches from around the raw edge of the neckline. 

Step 2-4:

We're going to complete 4 loops of rib stitch. 

🎬 Watch How to Knit a V-Neck


Grab your darning needle again. Let's sew the sides of our jumper together. 

Use your measuring tape and stitch markers to mark the sections you're going to seam together. We're leaving space for our arm holes as well as for our split seam. 

Once you've marked our where you'll be seaming you'll get to work with the darning needle. 

You work this seam through the “bars” of stockinette stitch in each piece. 

📹 Watch How To Sew A Vertical Invisible Seam

💭 If you're anything like us you might find seaming a bit of a pain and hard to make super neat. It's a common beginner challenge! The main principle with seaming is no matter what seaming method you use, be sure you are entering into the same place on each stitch along the seam. This consistency makes it harder to see the seam.


We're getting close, I can see the finish line 🎢🙌

Now it’s time to knit our sleeves which we do from the top down. We're going to need two of these so follow this part twice! ✌️


Step 1:

Using your 15mm needles you're going to pick up stitches from around the edge of the raw armhole. Make sure your stitches are spaced evenly and count them to make sure you've got an even number. Then mark the beginning of your loop with a stitch marker. 

Because we're knitting in the round we no longer have a 'front' and 'back' to our work, which means to create a stockinette stitch we don't need to alternate knit and purl stitches. So for these babies, you'll just use knit stitch for every row/loop. Woo hoo!! 

Step 2:

Knit the allocated number of rows/loops in knit stitch. You'll be good at this by now! 

Step 3:

We're going to decrease the number of stitches in our row in order to create a nice balloon shape for our sleeve before we knit the cuff. 

Knit two stitches together as the pattern instructs. You'll note that the instructions are different depending on the size you're making so just make sure you are following the right instructions. 

Step 4:

Next, we switch to using our 12mm needles to knit the cuff of our sleeves. 

We’ll work the allocated rows of 1x1 rib stitch in the round. It might feel a little tight now that we don't have as many stitches on our needles. The trick is to keep adjusting and moving the stitches around the loop as you knit. 

Step 5:

Cast off your stitches loosely so that the hold for your wrist to fit through isn't too tight! 

Repeat for your second sleeve ❤️‍🔥


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 into the inside of your work. You use your darning need and weave those ends into the seams so they are nicely hidden away. 


The final step in finishing a knitted piece is to block it. This step is optional and not all beginner knitters will block their work (we certainly didn't 🤣) but it can improve the overall shape and finish of your piece. 

Blocking your knitting is a process where you wet your piece to set the finished size and even out the stitches.

You can choose to block your work before you seam it together, or after. If you block before seaming together you might get a better result with your seaming because the stitches will be more lined up.

Step 1

Soak your knit in cool water. You only need to let your piece sit in the water for a few minutes and make sure the full piece is completely wet. 

Step 2

Remove your knit from the water and dry it off by rolling it in a towel. You want to get us much of the moisture out of the knit as possible at this point but be gentle! You don't want to stretch the knit.

Step 3

Transfer your damp knit to a flat surface to block it on. If you've got a blocking mat - great! otherwise a towel will work. The surface needs to be somewhere where your knit can lie flat and can stay there until it fully dries so that the shape sets properly. Make sure it's not a surface that can be easily damaged by having something wet sitting on it! 

Step 4

Arrange your piece so the right side is facing up and the shape is as you'd like it. If you've got a measuring tape you can measure and adjust the piece so it's the correct size. 

Step 5

Allow the knit to air dry - this can take a few days. You can also use a hair dryer to speed up the process, just use a light heat and don't concentrate the air in one spot. 

D.O.N.E! You've finished your jumper, well done! Epic work 🤩 If this was your first-ever knitting project or one of many, we hope you had a blast click-clacking and making your masterpiece 💥❤️

In a bind and need a little more help?

Email us at and we'll be able to help! Whether you're just starting out, or you've got a specific question or problem (dropped a stitch, no stress!), we're here to get you out of a bind.