I like to do a little decorating for Valentine’s Day around my house. I don’t go over the top with it, mainly a few red touches here and there. Valentine’s Day is still mid-winter here in Minnesota, so I also like it to have a bit of a cozy winter vibe. This year I decided I wanted to make some knit hearts. The thing is, I am swamped with knitting right now (three projects on the needles) and the thought of knitting up a bunch of hearts was too much. Then I remembered I had some old sweaters that weren’t worth donating in red and a taupey grey that would be perfect to turn into hearts. Not only were they perfect, but they made this into a super easy and quick project.
Originally, I was going to turn these into a bunting to hang over the fireplace, which I still think would have been cute, but I came up with a different place for them. I have a pig planter in my foyer that I fill with different things seasonally. It was sitting empty after Christmas and these hearts were just the thing.
You could use them as bunting, a bowl filler, fill them with lavender as a gift, make a giant one from the body of a sweater as a throw pillow. So many options.
Recycled Sweater Hearts
- sweaters (I got three hearts from a sleeve of a large woman’s sweater)
- heart pattern (I just found one online, printed and cut it out. Mine was 4 inches tall)
- straight pins
- matching thread
- sewing machine
- stuffing (I used polyfil)
- hand sewing needle
- embroidery thread (optional)
- embroidery needle (optional)
1. Turn the sweater inside out and lay out so you have two layers on top of each other, both sides of a sleeve or the front and back of the sweater. Place the heart template on top and trace around it with the marker.
If you are using a cabled or striped sweater, think about where you want those cables or stripes to be on the heart when placing the template. You can also play with which direction they go.
2. Pin the two layers together. Use the sewing machine and matching thread, sew the layers together on the marker line you drew. Leave about an inch open for turning and stuffing. I backstitched for strength at the points.
Yes, you could do this step by hand. Just make sure to use small, close stitches so the cut knit doesn’t fray and come apart.
3. Cut around the stitched heart leaving about a 1/4″ seam allowance. I left a little more at the opening incase of fraying.
Turn right side out through the hole. Stuff. I found it helped to get a good amount of stuffing into the round tops of the hearts to give them a good shape. Hand stitch the opening shut.
4. On the plain hearts, I did some simple embroidery with a large tapestry needle and embroidery thread. It was pretty easy to do on the finished hearts because I wasn’t doing anything too elaborate.
I didn’t do it beforehand because I didn’t want to play with the cut out hearts too much and risk them fraying a lot.
© 2005 – 2015 Kathy Lewinski & Susan Cornish