Monday, February 13, 2012

Valentine's Hearts

Valentine's Day. I'm not a fan. Not least because my dear husband maintains it's a conspiracy by greeting card companies and florists to trick dopey men into shelling out their hard-earned cash for woman-pleasing trifles. At least, that's his story and he's sticking to it. And he's more romantic than I am, so that ought to give you an idea of how fervently we celebrate St. Valentine's Day in this house.

But this is a very quick and simple pattern for little hearts that have an infinite variety of uses. Made with a 3.75mm (F) hook and mercerised cotton, mine are 5 cm / 2 inches tall and a little over 5 cm / 2 inches wide at their widest point. They take less than five minutes to make - in fact, I can knock one out in two or three minutes flat - and use small amounts of leftover yarn.

Here's how you do it...
You need 
  • a 3.75mm (F) hook
  • scraps of coloured cotton
This pattern uses American terms. The British terms are in [brackets].

DC [TR] = double crochet [treble crochet]
TR [DC] = treble crochet [double treble crochet]

Start by chaining 4, then join with a slip stitch.
Chain 3 (counts as the first DC [TR]), do 2 DC [TR] into the ring. Chain 2, 3 DC [TR], chain 2, 3 DC [TR], chain 2, 3 DC [TR], chain 2 and join to the third chain of your first 'fake' DC [TR].

Chain 3, then do 1 DC [TR] in the same corner gap, crochet one DC [TR]  in each DC [TR] of the previous round. Crochet 2 DC [TR] in corner gap, chain 2, 2 DC [TR] in same corner gap, then continue with 1 DC [TR] in each DC [TR] of the round below, and 2 DC [TR] + chain 2 + 2 DC [TR] in each corner. Join to the third chain of your first 'fake' DC [TR].

You should have a little square with 7 DC [TR] on each side.

 
* Slipstitch. Start a TR [DTR]: yarn over twice, then insert hook in the top of the fourth DC[TR] (the middle stitch) of the previous round.


Yarn over - you now have four loops on your hook. Yarn over and draw through two loops. You now have three on your hook. Yarn over and draw through two loops. You now have two on your hook. Yarn over and draw yarn through remaining two loops. You now have one loop on your hook.




Now do 6 DC [TR] in the same stitch as the TR [DTR] (i.e. the fourth of the seven DC [TR]s in the round below.) In the same stitch do one more TR [DTR].

 

Slipstitch the 'petal' of the heart into the corner gap **
and repeat from * to ** on the next side of your square.



Slipstitch twice, yank yarn tight and cut a tail, which you then weave in and out of the stitches. Pull your heart into shape. At this point you might consider blocking or starching your hearts - I starched mine, using a light spray-on starch and a warm iron. You can see that the heart on the right is slightly stiffer and flatter than the one on the left.


Now all you have to do is make enough to adorn inanimate objects or to simply make a decorate garland.


If made in a thicker yarn, for example worsted weight, you will have hearts that are big enough for bunting. If done in cotton, you can sew two together  leaving a gap at the top to make a little bag (e.g. for sweets or candies - a nice idea for a wedding favour, if you have the patience to churn out dozens of little hearts in your wedding colours.)

Happy Valentine's Day!

7 comments:

HillyT said...

OK, so it's 11pm and I've just knocked two of these up in less than 15 minutes for my daughters to find at breakfast tomorrow. Needless to say I had forgotten Valentine's Day until tonight.

Thank you.

Annie said...

Neat :D

I am still learning to crochet and do wish we Brits/Irish et al and the Americans could agree on crochet terms. But I'll give this a bash later, thank you :D

Erica said...

...

They would make great wedding favors!!! You just made my day. Also, I love that you decorated your fancy-schmancy new lamp =P.

Sue said...

You may not be a fan of valentine but your hearts are lovely!
I heard something hilarious which sums up valentine hype.
In our town centre market the flower seller shouts in a very 'market' voice, "15 roses for a fiver, bargain come on 15 roses only a fiver go on you don't even have to like her, bargain roses come and get em!!!!!"
My how I laughed.
Happy Valentines day to you ♥

The Gingerbread Lady said...

Hello everyone,
Thank you for the comments and I'm glad they saved your bacon, Hilly T ;-)

And, yes, Erica, I am slowly turning into one of those very organised people who decorates seasonally. Or maybe not. They're still hanging, three days after V-Day, they'll probably still be there next Christmas!

Annie - I learned to crochet with British terms and switched to American, even though I find the British terms more descriptive, tbh, but so many patterns and books are written for the (bigger) American audience that I have had to change to Am. terms for convenience.

And Sue - that flower seller is a marketing genius. Steve Jobs could've picked up tips from him, hehe :-)

Paul & Carla said...

We went to a community meeting on V-day which was a potluck. Rather boring, really, but we met some of our neighbors we didn't know. Then the next day I had a brainstorm and asked my husband to get me a steering wheel cover for the car "for V-day" — although honestly he would have gotten one any time I asked. Romantic, huh?

The Gingerbread Lady said...

Wooohh... Carla - talk about romantic! ;-)