I heart hearts and groundhogs!

There’s still time to make your sweetheart one of these guys for Valentines day.
heart jpeg 2heart
It’s an oldie, but a goodie.  A pattern of mine that was published in the wonderful online knit magazine Knitty.  You can find the pattern there for free too. If you are down with the double pointed knitting needles then this pattern is a breeze and fun to make too.  I have made plenty over the years.
heart x2The heart on the left is the only heart I kept from all the plenty. The heart on the right is a mini version of the heart (great for pinning on your sleeve or lapel). The mini heart pattern is found here.  The left heart is improvised.
I kept this heart partly for the very special yarn it was made from.  Leftovers from socks I made for my Dad, my last bit of fuzzy, neon, orange, angora, and hand dyed cashmere from Handmaiden yarns. Using bits and pieces from projects-past made this heart even more special to me.  The cable is a nice touch too.
Lots of other folks have made their own versions of the heart.  See them on Ravelry.  There are currently 710 to peruse.

If you decide to make your own heart here’s a tip!

Beginning the heart is the hardest part.  You must cast on 6 stitches and join in the round and immediately increase stitches.  Over the years many have cursed my name trying to accomplish this.  Over these same years I have learned some tricks to make lighter work of this tricky maneuver. This is how I do it.heart tutorial 1

1. Cast on your 6 stitches onto a double pointed needle




2. The next instruction is to increase the stitches with a (Kf&b, K1) repeated, but first you must join the round to start knitting in a circle. Instead of dividing the stitches onto the double pointed needles try joining the round like you would if you were making an I-cord. First move the stitches down to the other point on your double pointed needle.  Let the yarn drape over the back of your work as you insert your needle into the first stitch closest to the tip (the first stitch you cast on). Work your Kf&b into that first stitch making sure you give some tension to the stitch to close the circle.  Continue working the stitches on the needle making your increases as you go. heart tutorial 3

3. You will now have 9 stitches on your double pointed needle




heart tutorial 44. Reorganize your stitches on the double pointed needles, 3 stitches on each needle and join in a round.
If 9 stitches still seems too puny to start using all  your double pointed needles on, then use the I-cord technique to do your next row. This will increase your stitches to 12.  Now get out the rest of the needles and put 4 stitches on each.

Apply this I-cord technique to anything that requires you to cast on only a few stitches and then knit in rounds, like the Knit Cafe’s Tedster pattern or the Wee Owlie too.

Happy Groundhog Day, 2 out of 3 groundhogs say spring is coming early!
Craftily yours

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