Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Heart Making Basics


by M. J. Joachim
Shaping Hearts
One of the first things I do when making hearts is visualize their shape clearly in my mind. Sometimes I look at motifs (any shape or design), and see if they can reasonably be turned into a heart, either by themselves or by joining 2 or more of them together.
This takes some fiddling with the layout at times – I might have to match corners at irregular points or leave open spaces in the pattern.
To make rounded edges on hearts using square or sharp edge motifs, I gradually shape the rounded edge, by decreasing the actual corners or eliminating them altogether. I do this by decreasing stitches or using only 1 stitch in each stitch. After a couple of rounds, the corners soften and lose their sharp edges.
Alternately, when working the bottom point of the heart, I make a corner. Sometimes this is 3 stitches, surrounded by the single stitches forming the rest of the heart. Other times it might be a shell stitch, or an actual corner itself, like a granny square corner (3 dc, chain 2, 3 dc).
Decorating Hearts
Once I’ve made a heart, anything goes! I can weave ribbon through it, add beads, join smaller motifs on top, or all of the above. I can use chain overlay stitches to write names and make special valentines out of my hearts and let my creativity run wild, as I enjoy deciding how each heart will become its own special project.
Materials & Purposes for Hearts
I make my hearts out of various yarns and crochet threads. They are made in all shapes and sizes. Large cotton hearts can be used as dishcloths and kitchen towels. Smaller hearts can be added to newly crocheted hats, turned into magnets, baby mobiles and coaster sets. Fuzzy hearts can be joined and turned into arm and leg warmers. Dainty hearts can be added to bobby pins and used as hair decorations.
Crocheted hearts are lots of fun to make and display. The one pictured will be a new Valentine decoration. I added one of my Christmas star motifs to the center, and then sewed a seashell bead on top. Of course, you can add a flower, beads or anything your heart desires J The pattern for this one can be found here: Granny Square Heart. Please be sure to check it out and let me know what you think.
That’s all for now, kind followers.
Until next time, happy crocheting!
M. J.
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