heartpileMy usual Valentine’s Day decorations consist of two glittery heart-shaped “wreaths” on our front doors. The ONLY reason I bother with these is because they obscure the view into our house through the French doors. (It’s creepy that people can see right into the living room!) But alas, the kids are getting older, and getting into every holiday’s spirit is something they truly enjoy now!

There’s only one thing to put up for V-day … hearts! To bring in some knitting, I’ve made a quick-ish heart shaped garland that you can stitch out of that enormous yarn pile living in your house.

For the garland, I went to my cluttered Pinterest board of knitting projects where I had stowed away a chunky and stiff heart pattern a while ago. It was apparently intended for coasters? Anyway, it’s knit on 8mm needles (already making me happy) and requires VERY little finishing.

Depending on what your yarn stash looks like, you can do a couple of things: Use a chunky weight yarn, which I didn’t have, or use two strands of a worsted weight yarn, which I have too much of! When you’re looking to hold two strands of the same yarn together, it’s easiest if you pull out the end from the center of the skein and carry it with the end from the outside of the skein. If you’re one of those perfectionists who winds all the yarn into neat balls when you get home, this might be a problem.

I went ahead and knit one heart, pulled it out, and measured it so you know how much you’ll need if you’re dissecting a neat ball. Of course, I measure like a weirdo, so I’m going to explain it like this…

Hold the end of your yarn in one hand, pull it across your chest and stretch out your arms. The distance from one hand to the other should resemble your height (likely between 5 and 6 feet). Estimating this way I can tell you you’ll need 20 lengths of yarn… Easier that a measuring tape right?

Hands down, the hardest part of making this garland was deciding what colors to use. I went back and forth between reds and greys and a rainbow of jewel tones… Then I decided on two shades of purple with one pink and a red.

garland

I will say, if you don’t have yarn to get rid of — sorry I just choked on those words — it would also look pretty cool to buy just one skein of yarn and do all the hearts in one color.

Here is the link to the original pattern: http://www.molliemakes.com/craft-2/free-knitting-pattern-heart-shaped-coasters/

 

This pattern ain’t playin’. You could rest your venti mug of coffee on this bad boy! Its finished size is about 5 ½” square. They take me about 30 minutes each to make and I figure I’ll have about 6” of ribbon between each heart, therefore, each heart = 1 foot of garland. This can be a time investment, but just think… if you make one heart a day for a week, you’ve got 7 feet! That’s enough for a decent swag! I will tell you, if you’re a beginner, this is a great project for you! These hearts are all knit stitches, no purling, and you’ll learn those basic increases and decreases! You CAN do it!

heartCollage

On your 8mm needles:

Cast on 5 stitches

Row 1: Knit

Row 2: Kfb, knit 4 stitches (6 stitches)

Row 3: Knit

Row 4: Knit 5 stitches, kfb (7)

Row 5: Knit

Row 6: Kfb, knit 6 stitches (8 stitches)

Row 7: Knit

Now you have a weird little bump shaped thing. Push it to the bottom of your needle and cut the yarn so you have about 6” for a tail. Then, on that same needle, start from the beginning and cast on 5 stitches. Continue through row 7.

Now you have two bumps, let’s join them together and finish this heart!

Row 1: Knit all the way across both sections of your knitting to join them together. (16 stitches)

I actually joined the yarn with a slack knot when I got to the second heart section, but the original pattern does not mention doing so… Personally, I think it helps me keep my tension consistent, but of course, you may find it unnecessary.

Rows 2-4: Knit

Row 5: K2tog, Knit 12, K2tog

Row 6: Knit

Repeat rows 5 and 6 until you have only 2 stitches remaining, then bind off.

Weave in all ends (you should have four… two on the top, one on bottom, and one at the center where you joined).

stringingKnit enough hearts to get to your desired garland length. Remember, each heart accounts for approximately 1 foot. I used a pale pink ¼” ribbon to hang mine, but of course you can use a chunky yarn, or some twine… whatever your style is all about! I suggest going right through a few stitch legs on the top row of your heart.

Wasn’t that a fun project? Now every year, you’ll have something that YOU knit to hang up for the holiday, and what’s better than that?!