This was the very first bit of tiny nonsense I ever knit.
I was having a bad time. I’d broken my leg. I couldn’t get comfortable to knit for more than twenty minutes at a time. Everything felt absolutely impossible. So I knit these. I knit piles and piles and piles of these sweet, silly little distractions.
I almost didn’t write a pattern because I truly wasn’t sure anyone needed any such thing. But when I shared a few pictures, folks were absolutely besotted. So I wrote them up, and they’ve been one of my most popular patterns ever since. I am truly delighted that you love them as much as I do!
They’ve shown up as decorations or favors at weddings and baby showers and birthday parties. They’ve been tucked in lunch boxes and book bags and coat pockets on both hard days and happy ones. They’ve found their way into envelopes and through the mail to folks who needed a little surprise. They’ve shown up on Christmas trees and garlands and mobiles. They’re basically the perfect way to turn a few dozen yards of yarn and a few hours of knitting into a tiny token of good will that you can hand out as needed.
This 18-page pattern is tremendously detailed and holds your hand every step of the way. There are pages and pages of step-by-step photos to show you exactly what to expect as you work. The pattern is full of helpful tips on everything from casting on, blocking, filling your hearts, and managing your ends. There's even an option to add some adorable embroidery!
The pattern is almost absurdly detailed, but it really does mean you can totally make these, even if you’ve never knit a project like this before!
Skills & scope
Each heart fits in the palm of your hand and takes only a few hours to knit. The knitting is mostly stockinette worked in the round with just a few carefully placed increases and decreases to give it shape. You don’t have to decide what size you want to make until you’re part way through, so you can just keep going until your heart is as big as you’d like.
Yarn, gauge & sizing
The pattern comes in seven sizes. You can make it in any weight of yarn, and the finished size will change depending on what yarn you use. You don’t need to match any particular gauge, but you do need to knit tightly enough to make a firm fabric so your filling doesn’t show through.
I've knit this in everything from fingering-weight up through bulky-weight yarns.
You can absolutely use scrap yarn for this.
The hearts in the pictures took less than 100 yards each (the smallest ones took less than 50 yards). They are worked between 9 stitches per inch (for the fingering-weight yarn) and 5 stitches per inch (for the bulky-weight yarn). They are between 1.5 and 5 inches across and between 1.5 and 5 inches top to bottom.
Tools & supplies
You’ll need needles that let you work in the round (circulars or DPNs) in whatever size lets you get a firm fabric with your chosen yarn, plus the general knitting tools you need for most projects (scissors to cut your yarn, a darning needle to weave in ends, the occasional stitch marker or bit of scrap yarn to hold stitches).
You’ll also need something to fill the hearts with. I have a page here with information about the supplies I use in my projects.