A step by step tutorial on how to knit a heart shape for beginners using a simple garter stitch.
Do you want to learn how to knit a heart shape? Maybe you want to give it to someone special or embellish a project with this universal token of love. Well, then you came to the right place because in this tutorial I’ll show you exactly how.
You can follow my step-by-step instructions and watch my video so you can get the perfect heart shape – even if you are a knitting beginner. There’s even a print-out option in case you want a hard-copy of this simple pattern.
That being said, a heart is a somewhat complex geometrical object. This means you will need to know a bit more than the basic knit stitch. Here’s what you will have to know in addition:
- How to increase with a kfb – knit front back
- how to decrease using k2tog – knit two together
- And how to cast on
If you don’t know how to do that yet, kindly read/watch my tutorials first and consider going through my free knitting school. Learning the increase and decrease will open up a whole new world of knitting patterns to you. So, I think it’s time well invested anyway.
Also, while this knitting pattern is perfectly suitable for beginners, I do assume this is not your very first project. Here’s a little tutorial in case you don’t know how to read knitting patterns yet. But if you are already experienced, you might want to check out my perfect love heart knitting pattern instead.
Anyway, let’s dive right into it, eh?
Note: I earn a small commission for purchases made through links in this article.
INSTRUCTIONS FOR KNITTING A HEART SHAPE
This knitted heart is knit flat in two parts in a simple garter stitch pattern that doesn't curl in on the edges. After knitting both lobes, you join them with a simple technique and decrease the shape towards a pointy bottom.
I recommend using a relatively small needle size compared to the weight of your yarn to ensure a nice & crips stitch definition.
- Step: Knit the left lobe.
Cast on 3 stitches with a longtail cast on leaving a tail of 6 inches for weaving in later.
Row 1: k3
Row 2: k2, kfb (stitches 4)
Row 3: k3, kfb (5 st)
Row 4: k4, kfb (6 st)
Row 5: k5, kfb (7 st)
Row 6: k7
Cut the working yarn leaving a tail of 6 inches
- Step: Knit the right lobe on the same needle.
Slide the left lobe to the center of your needle, and then cast on 3 new stitches. Then, repeat rows 1-6 but don't cut the yarn.
- Step: Join together the two halves.
Row 7: Join by knitting across, k6, k2tog, k6 (13 st)
Row 8-11: knit
Be careful not to overstretch the two stitches you need to knit together. Go slowly. Holding on to the tail as you k2tog does help.
- Step: Decrease towards the bottom
Row 12: k11, k2tog (12 st)
Row 13: k10, k2tog (11 st)
Row 14: k9, k2tog (10 st)
Row 15: k8, k2tog (9 st)
Row 16: k7, k2tog (8 st)
Row 17: k6, k2tog (7 st)
Row 18: k5, k2tog (6 st)
Row 19: k4, k2tog (5 st)
Row 20: k3, k2tog (4 st)
Row 21: k2, k2tog (3 st)
Row 22: k3
Cut the yarn leaving a tail of around 6-8 inches. Then tread it on a tapestry needle and pull the yarn through those last 3 stitches and drop them off the needle as you go.
As an alternative, you could also k3tog centered. This will result in a marginally neater tip
- Step: Weave in the tails
There should be 4 tails hanging down from your heart and you need to weave them in. If you want your heart to be reversible, then you will have to weave in the ends through the edges. If you just want one nice side, then you can weave them in the standard way.
Once you are satisfied, consider blocking your knitted heart to even out the stitches.
Knitting this heart shape will require a bit of practice. Not because the pattern is particularly hard. Rather, because you are knitting it in two parts and there are 4 tails, it's a bit harder to get a neat result. Speaking from experience, it's very fundamental that you go slowly and knit every stitch very deliberately - especially the decreases and increases.
As a beginner, you might consider picking slightly fuzzy wool. This will help to hide smaller mistakes and also make it much easier to weave in the ends in a more invisible way.
I have seen some tutorials showing you how to knit a heart spacing out the increases and decreases every two rows. I don't recommend this. First of all, in knitting, increases and decreases have a slant. For the best result, you should use them on their corresponding side. And then, I feel it's much easier for a beginner if you always have to kfb or k2tog the last stitch. That way, you don't accidentally miss a row.
Reading tip: 10 easy projects for knitting beginners
Further things you should know about knitting a heart
Once you understand the basics, I leave it up to you to get creative. You can definitly play around with the yarn weight/needle size. For example, knit this with worsted yarn and needles size 6, and it will be a lovely Valentine’s Day coaster.
You can also knit bigger hearts. Simply had an equal number of increases and decreases to the pattern. E.g., instead of 7 stitches, you increase to 9 stitches, knit 5 rows across in the middle, and then you decrease in the same manner (always k2tog the last stitch) towards the tip. That way, you could create a little dishcloth with a heart shape, etc.
The only thing you need to be aware of is that you can’t really pick a different knitting stitch pattern. Not only because some patterns curl in on the edges but mostly because you might need a different number of cast-on stitches and different knitting increases. Kfb works well for gather stitch but will be quite visible for other patterns.
9 thoughts on “How to knit a heart – An easy flat garter stitch pattern for beginners”
I am just starting to learn, but with your guidance it went very well the first time! Thank you very much and I will keep learning from you 👍🏻❤️
Hey Rienus, happy to hear that! and feel to comment in case you should have any questions
Hello! Lovely tutorial, thank you. Very easy to follow for a beginner. The top of my heart doesn’t look quite like yours, though- what kind of cast on are you using here? Yours is neater than mine.
I used a standard longtail cast on. BUt adjusted the pattern so it’s a bit clearer. But if you watch the video, you should be able to see it anyway.
Thanks Norman! Thank you also for such a wonderful site, by the way. I’m new but learning fast (started flat squares a few months ago, then hats, then mittens, then basic lace, now hearts- baby sweater next!), and your articles and tutorials are extremely helpful. You’re very clear and thorough, and you don’t take it for granted that your readers already know how to do the things the pattern or technique calls for. As a beginner who’s sorted through her fair share of incomprehensible tutorials I can say it’s very much appreciated.
that sounds like you got hooked! And so happy to hear you find my tutorials helpful and clear. It’s exactly what I want them to be…but you know in your head things always work out differently than in reality, lol!
Thanks for this pattern, I’m looking forward to trying it out.
It’ll make a nice break from what I’m knitting right now, a garter stitch blanket for my mum. Hopefully I’ll be able to finish it in time to give it to her for Christmas.
Thank you for your clear and concise instructions! I was successful with my first try!
If you’re having trouble defining the two humps of the heart, I recommend casting on two stitches on the first hump, aka in between the two humps. Then proceed as usual. Helps them be more separated and defined