Lace Hearts Stitch Pattern

This lovely stitch has a story. A few weeks ago I’ve got a photo of this stitch in an email from one of the knitters subscribed to my newsletter (thanks again for that jolt of inspiration, Honora :-). She asked me whether I know how to knit this stitch. I didn’t. In fact, I haven’t seen this stitch ever before. 

That was intriguing, and I started looking through all stitch dictionaries I have. Luckily, I found a stitch with similar elements in the Second Treasury of Knitting Patterns by Barbara G. Walker. It’s called “Honeybee Pattern with Faggoting”, and it looks a lot like a honeybee, not like a heart.

At least it was a start. I’ve got experimenting with a different number of stitches, number of rows and number of yarn overs until the motif looked like the hearts in the photo that inspired me.

You can see the evolution of the “honeybee-turned-heart” on my test swatch in the photo below. 

At times, it felt like playing the “word ladder” game when you change one letter at a time to turn “toad” into “frog”, or “mice” into “rats”. It was fun!

I really enjoyed working on this stitch pattern, and I hope you will enjoy using it in your knitting.

This stitch is not as complicated as it looks. The repeat has only 10 stitches and 6 rows, and to make things even easier for you, I made a video tutorial that shows every stitch worked in every row of the pattern.

Click here to watch the video

I also added links to the row numbers in the instructions. Each link leads to a section of the video that shows what happens in that row.

The panel with hearts is worked over 10 stitches. To make the panel more prominent in your knitting, add one or two purl stitches at each side of the panel (knit those stitches in the wrong side rows). 

For my test swatch, I cast on 14 stitches – 10 stitches of the panel, one stitch at each side of the panel and one selvedge stitch at each side of the work.

I won’t include selvedges and side stitches in the instructions below, just the instructions for the panel itself.

Set up row (wrong side): purl 5, make 3 yarn overs, purl 5.

Row 1 (right side): knit 3, knit 2 stitches together, make 3 yarn overs, drop all yarn overs made in the previous row, make an SSK decrease, knit 3.

Row 2 (wrong side): purl 4, make 3 yarn overs, drop all yarn overs made in the previous row, purl 4.

Row 3 (right side): knit 2, knit 2 together, make 2 yarn overs, drop all yarn overs made in the previous row, SSK, knit 2.

Row 4 (wrong side row): purl 1, make a left-slanting purled decrease (purl 1, keeping the yarn in front of the work, slip this stitch back to the left needle, pass the next stitch over the one you’ve just purled and off the left needle, slip the purled stitch to the right needle), make 2 yarn overs, drop all yarn overs made in the previous row, purl 2 together, purl 1

Row 5 (right side) – this is the row when we turn the messy strands into a lovely heart:
knit 2 together, cast on 4 stitches on the right needle using backwards loop cast on, drop all yarn overs made in the previous row, knit 1 under the 5 loose strands, make a yarn over, knit 1 again under the 5 loose strands, cast on 4 stitches on the right needle using backwards loop cast on, SSK

Row 6 (wrong side): purl 2 together, purl 3, purl 2 together (stitch + yarn over), make 3 yarn overs, purl 4, make a left-slanting purled decrease.

Repeat rows 1 – 6 to make a lovely panel with lacy hearts.

Three yarn overs that we make in row 6 are the beginning of the next heart motif. If you don’t plan to make another heart on top of the one you’ve just knitted, skip the yarn overs and work row 6 like this:

Row 6: purl 2 together, purl 3, purl 2 together (stitch + yarn over), purl 4, make a left-slanting purled decrease.

To make an even more elaborate pattern, add narrow panels made with simple mesh stitch pattern between the panels with hearts, like the one pictured in the original photo that inspired me.

Here’s how I made the pattern shown in the photo:

Cast on a multiple of 14 stitches + 4 stitches + 2 selvedge stitches. I worked selvedges as the “slip-stitch chain selvedge” described as #1 in this article and this video tutorial.

Right side rows: selvedge, purl 1, make a yarn over, knit 2 together, purl 1, [make the 10 stitch panel with hearts, purl 1, make a yarn over, knit 2 together, purl 1], work brackets to the last stitch, selvedge.

Wrong side rows: selvedge, knit 1, knit 1, make a yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 1, [make the 10 stitch panel with hearts, knit 1, make a yarn over, knit 2 together, knit 1], work brackets to the last stitch, selvedge.

As a result, you will make an extraordinary fabric that will definitely wow all your knitting friends 🙂

P.S. A few months after I published instructions for this stitch pattern, I’ve got a request to convert this stitch for working in the round.

I thought I would share these instructions with everyone in case you decide to add a band of hearts to a hat or a seamless sweater.

So, here’s how to work Hearts Stitch in the round:

Set up round: knit 5, make 3 yarn overs, knit 5.

Round 1: knit 3, knit 2 stitches together, make 3 yarn overs, drop all yarn overs made in the previous round, make an SSK decrease, knit 3.

Round 2: knit 4, make 3 yarn overs, drop all yarn overs made in the previous round, knit 4.

Round 3: knit 2, knit 2 together, make 2 yarn overs, drop all yarn overs made in the previous round, SSK, knit 2.

Round 4: knit 1, knit 2 together, make 2 yarn overs, drop all yarn overs made in the previous round, SSK, knit 1

Round 5: knit 2 together, cast on 4 stitches on the right needle using backwards loop cast on, drop all yarn overs made in the previous round, knit 1 under the 5 loose strands, make a yarn over, knit 1 again under the 5 loose strands, cast on 4 stitches on the right needle using backwards loop cast on, SSK

Round 6: SSK, knit 3, SSK (stitch + yarn over), make 3 yarn overs, knit 4, knit 2 together.

If you don’t plan to make another heart on top of the one you’ve just knitted, don’t make yarn overs in round 6 and work it like this:

Round 6:  SSK, knit 3, SSK (stitch + yarn over), knit 4, knit 2 together. 

Happy knitting!


If you enjoyed this tutorial,
here’s something else you might find helpful:

“Neat Side Edges” Book

Learn twelve ways to make side edges of a knitted project nice and tidy. Plus, ways to fix side edges, and a way to improve edges of finished projects.


Happy knitting!

Maryna Shevchenko - www.10rowsaday.com

Let’s be friends on GoodReads 🙂

Lace Hearts knitting stitch pattern | 10 rows a day
Lace Hearts stitch step by step | 10 rows a day
How to knit a lace heart | 10 rows a day