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Crocheting Heart Shapes

Happy Valentine's Day!  Pink Flash Sale 'til 2/17 
Tea Lights Scarf in hand dyed luxury yarn (Crochet to the Color Playbook)
Designing with hand dyed pink & red yarns this week made me think of heart shapes. I can't get my camera to do justice to the layered 3D colors that Brenda Lavell, dyer of Phydeaux, accomplished with the yarn at left. (It's not a neon-bright yarn. Photos flatten the rich dimensions.)

This week I noticed the gazillion ways people crochet Valentine heart shapes. Most of them are crocheted in the round from a center ring. Many are done in horizontal rows of single crochet. Some are started at the bottom point then worked flat, or in the round like amigurumi. There are still more. I found so many types in Pinterest that I created a "Hearts to Crochet" board).

Mapping the Heart

Surely hearts have been crocheted side to side in vertical rows and in diagonal rows, with Tunisian or slip stitches. I haven't found them yet, so here is my contribution to the online pile of free crochet heart patterns. 

For the chart below I used graph paper that I customized to the dimensions of average front-loop slip stitches (Fss). It will also work for back-loop slip stitches (Bss). Fss rows are taller than Bss though, so a Bss heart crocheted side to side will come out a bit skinnier.
The first ones I made in thick wool yarn and Bss remind me of shortbread cookies:

Slip Stitch Shortbread Cookie Pattern

Click the chart to see it enlarged
Slip Stitch Crochet Hearts Free Pattern chartHow lovely, a free pattern, right? If you're an experienced slip stitch crocheter, just follow the chart row by row and use the increase and decrease methods you prefer.

I personally like to combine two methods:
1. The invisible shaping method to increase and decrease anywhere in a row. (LOVE that I can now link to an explanation of it!) 
2. To increase at the start of a row I like to chain more to extend the row. Conversely, to decrease at the end of a row I like to stop short (turn, leaving stitches unworked, i.e. a short row).

If you're not an experienced slip stitch crocheter, use the written pattern along with the chart. It's all at my blog.

The deluxe Etimo Rose Crochet hook Set by Tulip Co.; 14% taken off price at check out until Feb 17.Are your slip stitches on the tight side? That's great for this pattern, as long as you can crochet the next row into them. I cannot resist suggesting a premium pink crochet hook. These are on sale singly and in sets until Feb. 17, see right column.

Link goes to the project page for it in Ravelry.These hearts are slip stitch sculptures. (Actually, most crocheted hearts are naturally sculptural because it's not a simple geometric shape.) You increase or decrease a stitch each row, so the pattern takes some focus.

It's so worth it: stuffing doesn't show through the slip stitches and they just feel really cool. I haven't found any other crochet hearts like them. Above is a special slip stitch heart afghan pocketsquare for my friend Tammy. I used sock yarn and it's about 2" wide. 
Link goes to its Ravelry project page
Make these heart shapes with thicker yarns and you can use them as coasters. In thin yarns, a Valentine pin or appliqué. Seam two together with a bit of stuffing and depending on the size (and stuffing), you could have a Valentine charm/pendant, pin cushion, pillow, paperweight, or beanbag. I edged this one with reverse sc.

You can go in so many artistic directions with heart shapes.

Abbrev's used: Bss=back-loop-only slip stitch, Fss=front-loop-only slip stitch, ss=slip stitch.

That's it for #76! If you know someone who would enjoy this kind of newsletter, please forward this to them so that they can subscribe. (Click here to subscribe: ) If you have any comments or suggestions, please email me. Thanks!      --Vashti         Helpful links:
Loving Textured Color
(free slip stitch heart pattern at left)
link goes to its Ravelry project page.
Front-loop slip stitches in vertical rows above and below.

Small pillow, below: back-loop slip stitches in rows diagonally:

PINK book by Barbara NemitzThe cover of this book Pink by Barbara Nemitz is pink velvet!
DesigningVashti SALE:
20% off pinknesses

4 valentine colors of Lotus. Clicking gets you 14% off.Clicking the image gets you 14% off of 100g balls and 33g "Snack" balls of these 4 colors until February 17.

10 of the ELEVEN pink crochet hook sizes I have in stock.Buy 7 Etimo Rose premium crochet hooks and get an 8th one free. How? Add the 7 sizes you want to your cart. When you check out, just write the 8th size you want in the "Special Instructions" box. (Or, email it:

The luxe pink crochet hook case by Tulip.Golly, what if you want TEN of them though, in a pink ostrich-texture case with a tasseled PINK crystal zipper pull? Click the photo for 14% off until Feb 17. Or what about a limited edition Candy hook set? Use code PinkHookSetBeMine at check out.

The three patterns in the Crochet to the Color PlaybookNew Pattern Set: Crochet to the Color Playbook. It's a freeform-inflected way to enjoy those spectacular hand dyed yarns you can't resist buying.

Vashti's teaching again! Five 3-hour crochet classes at the CGOA conference this July in Charleston SC. Topics, dates:
1) Stitch Games (Wed. 7/13, 6-9pm) 
2) Steek (Cut) Tunisian Crochet Lace (Thurs. July 14, 9am-noon) 
3) 21st Century Love Knot Adventures (Thurs. July 14, 2-5pm) 
4) The Starwirbel Way (Fri. July 15, 9am-noon) 
5) Tunisian Eyelet Meshes (Fri. July 15, 2-5pm)
Registration and hotel block open in March. Here's what students have said about these classes. 
Links I Enjoyed This Week
Crocheters please be counted! Take this TNNA Fiber Arts survey by the end of Feb. 15. (You could win one of five $100 fiber arts store gift cards). It's part of a major study of U.S. crocheters, knitters, needlepointers, cross-stitchers, weavers, and spinners.

March is National Crochet Month. DesigningVashti is joining up with Crochetville and over 100 crochet designers, bloggers, and yarn companies to celebrate! All aboard the Crochet Express:
National Crochet Month Blog Tour Schedule
Like Crochet Inspirations 76: Heart Shapes with Slip Stitches on Facebook
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Vashti Braha is a professional crochet designer & teacher who resides in Florida (USA) and owns

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