Easy to follow step by step written instructions for knitting a red love heart
No matter if it’s Valentine’s Day, a birthday, or any other occasion where you want to show your love – a little present is always a good idea. So in this post, I want to show you my idea of the perfect love heart knitting pattern. We’ll stuff it with poly-fill (but you could also use lavender or so) to get a nice puffy and 3-dimensional softy that looks the same from both sides.
There’s a video accompanying this post, so you easily knit along with me. That being said, this is heart pattern is knit in the round on double-pointed needles. So, it’s maybe not your best first project. Then again, you will find tutorials for every single of the techniques used to finish this heart here on my blog. This could be the perfect opportunity to learn something new, eh?
It takes me about 1hour to finish one heart. And because you don’t knit it flat, you have a much nicer finish and there is no seaming involved either. Mattress stitch is all fine for flat projects, but I don’t think it yields the best results when you have to seem along increase/decrease lines.
Still, if you were looking for an easier pattern more suitable for beginners, then check out my tutorial on how to knit an easy garter stitch heart.
Anyway, let’s dive right into it, eh?
Materials you will need
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The good news ahead. This love heart knitting pattern is quite universal. So, you can basically knit it in any yarn and needle size you love. Fuzzy yarn (like mohair) can yield just as amazing results as some plain vanilla sheep wool, etc.
The only thing you need to know: The heavier the yarn, the bigger your heart will end up. For reference, I knit with 2.00mm needles (US size 0) and some sock yarn and ended up with a heart that is 6x7cm.
- Red yarn in the weight of your choice. Etsy has tons of fantastic choices.
- Double-Pointed Knitting needles matching your yarn weight Frequent readers probably already know that I am a huge fan of the Knitter’s Pride Karbonz because they are the only ones that don’t end up crooked after 5 minutes.
- A stitch holder (or 2 extra dpns)
- A tapestry needle and scissors.
- Toy stuffing
You can also use the magic loop technique, though it can be a bit fiddly as the first and last rounds have very few stitches.
The heart knitting pattern
I recommend using 4 dpns. I know, that – especially in the US – lots of knitters favor 3 dpns but it will make knitting such a flat shape much harder. With 4, you won’t even need knit stitch markers because you can distribute the stitches in a way that the increases/decreases always are at the end/beginning of the needles.
- cast on 8 stitches leaving a tail of around 8 inches for weaving in later on
- Round 1: knit
- Round 2: *k1, KLL, k2, KRL, K1* (12 stitches)
- Round 3-4: knit
- Round 5: *k1, KLL, k4, KRL, K1* (16 stitches)
- Round 6-7: knit
- Round 8: *k1, KLL, k6, KRL, K1* (20 stitches)
- Round 9-10: knit
- Round 11: *k1, KLL, k8, KRL, K1* (24 stitches)
- Round 12-13: knit
- Round 14: *k1, KLL, k10, KRL, K1* (28 stitches)
- Round 15: knit
- Round 16: *k1, KLL, k12, KRL, K1* (32 stitches)
- Round 17: knit
- Round 18: *k1, KLL, k14, KRL, K1* (36 stitches)
- Round 19: knit
- Round 20: *k1, KLL, k16, KRL, K1* (40 stitches)
If you look at your work in progress now and press it flat, it should really look like the bottom part of a heart. You should have 10 stitches on each of the 4 needles. We need to separate those needles and put them in two groups, to knit the lobes.
You got two choices. Either put the stitch on the two needles to your left (2nd and 3rd needle) on a stitch holder or use some spare dpns. No matter what you do, you have to distribute the stitches on the 1st and 4th needle to four dpns so there are 5 on each. These four needles will be your new round.
- Round 21a: knit across those 20 stitches. Maintain a high tension as you bridge the gap between the new second & third needle.
- Round 22a: *k1, KLL, k8, KRL, K1* (24 stitches)
- Round 23a: knit
- Round 24a: *k1, KLL, k10, KRL, K1* (28 stitches)
- Round 25-26a: knit
- Round 27a: *ssk, k10, k2tog* (24 stitches)
- Round 28-29a: knit
- Round 30a: *ssk, k8, k2tog* (20 stitches)
- Round 31a: knit
- Round 32a: *ssk, k6, k2tog* (16 stitches)
- Round 33a: knit
- Round 34a: *ssk, k4, k2tog* (12 stitches)
- Round 35a: *ssk, k2, k2tog* (8 stitches)
Now, cut the working yarn leaving a tail of 6 inches, and thread it on a tapestry needle. Pull the yarn through all the remaining 8 stitches. Remove the knitting needles as you go.
From here, close the hole by pulling on the tail, sew over once, and weave in the end on the inside.
Now, you have to knit the other lobe. So, distribute the remaining 20 stitches to 4 dpns – just the way you did before, join in the yarn again, and follow the above instructions starting on the outside right after the “seam” and with round 21a. Three exceptions:
- Round 21b: As you bridge the gap, you need to lift up one stitch from the edge on each side (so at the end of needle 2 and the beginning of needle 3). And then k2tog/ssk these two stitches from the edge of the other lobe. This will prevent holes at the center of your heart. Here’s a tutorial on how I k1tog LL/RL.
- Round 23b: Also, weave in the tail where you joined in the yarn again. Just tie a knot and hide the tail on the inside. You won’t be able to see this from outside anyway.
- Round 32b: Consider pre-stuffing your soon to be finished knitted heart. The remaining holes are really small, and it’s much easier to squeeze in the poly-fil as long as the opening is a bit wider.
Once you finished the second lobe, it’s time to finish your little love heart. The tail of the second lobe will be a bit harder to weave in. So, like before, you should sew over the stitches of the last round once. And then, I’d weave in the remaining tail through the outer edge of the heart for a couple of stitches and then hide the rest on the inside. Or you do a knot through the rib in between a knit stitch. Both can be invisible
Then, using the end of a crochet hook or a pen, fill up the heart through the hole at the bottom. You can stretch it out a bit before you do so. Massage the heart a bit to distribute the filling evenly. If you overstuffed your heart before, you probably won’t need to add any further material.
And then, once you are satisfied, thread the bottom tail on a tapestry, go through all the stitches of your cast on, and pull tight to close the hole. Sew over once, maybe squeeze in a knot, and then hide the rest of the tail on the inside of your heart.
And there, congratulations! You finished my heart knitting pattern.
Version with less pronounced lobes
If you don’t want to knit a heart with such pronounced lobes and such a deep cleft then you can add a very simple change to the existing pattern to create a slightly different shape.
In this case don’t stop increasing after round 20, instead:
- Round 21*: knit
- Round 22:* *k1, KLL, k16, KRL, K1* (44 stitches)
- Round 23*: knit
- Round 24*: *k1, KLL, k18, KRL, K1* (48 stitches)
And then, split up the stitches the way before. Obviously, you will have to distribute 24 stitches, so 6 stitches end up in your new round. And then, simply continue with round 23a from above. So, you skip the first two rounds of the instructions for the left lobe.
And, of course, you will start the right lobe at round 23a from above as well. And that’s already it. The rest of my love heart knitting pattern stays exactly the same!
Possible other variations of this heart knitting pattern
Now, here are a couple of things you can do to embellish this basic pattern. While it’s really nice and sweet on it’s own, you shouldn’t hesitate to add a little bit of personality to it.
1. One really easy way is embroidery. With a simple chain stitch, you can add the name of the recipient. Or maybe your initials? I think it’s a great idea
2. You could also attach a four stitch i-cord to the bottom of your heart, and hoist it on a bit of wire (it’s really easy to pierce through the icord). That would create a lovely decoration for a table/windowsill, etc
3. And then, of course, you can also use different stitch patterns. I love the way this heart looks with a simple seed stitch. In this case, I would propose to cast on 10 stitches, though, and place the increases in rows where you start your seed stitch with a purl stitch. That way the pattern will align a bit more seamlessly.