Project: Knitted Loveheart Tattoo

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

To celebrate Brighton Pride, make this lovely knitted Loveheart Tattoo from Vanessa Mooncie’s Crocheted Accessories. This necklace captures the symbolism of love and protection within the tattoo tradition, elegantly presenting it as a treasured keepsake with the adornment of a simple charm. 



Any crochet thread 20 in red (A) and black (C)

Embroidery thread in silver, using only 2 strands worked together (B)

0.75mm (UK5:US12) crochet hook

Small amount of toy stuffing

Sewing needle

Swallow charm



Actual measurements:

Widest part measures 1 1⁄4in (3cm) 

Longest part measures 7⁄8in (2.25cm)



Not important



The heart and ribbon are made in a similar way to the Sweetheart Tattoo. However, by using a smaller hook and thread, rather than 4ply yarn, this finished piece is more delicate and fine-looking. The heart is decorated with a swallow charm, stitched in place at the end, before attaching the pendant to the crocheted chain.



Using 0.75mm hook and A, make 4 ch and join with a sl st to the first ch to form a tiny ring.

Round 1: 1 ch (does not count as a st), into ring work 5 dc (5 sts).

Round 2 (inc): (Dc2inc) 5 times (10 sts).

Round 3: 1 dc in each dc.

Round 4 (inc): (Dc2inc) 10 times (20 sts).

Rounds 5–6: 1 dc in each dc.

Round 7 (inc): (Dc2inc, 1 dc) 10 times (30 sts).

Round 8: 1 dc in each dc.

Round 9 (inc): (Dc2inc, 2 dc) 10 times (40 sts).

Rounds 10–11: 1 dc in each dc.




Shape top

Round 12: *1 dc in next 10 dc, turn, 1 dc in opposite 10 dc to form first side of top shaping (20 sts).

Round 13: 1 dc in each of 20 dc.

Round 14 (dec): (Dc2dec, 2 dc) 5 times (15 sts).

Break thread, leaving long length.*

Rejoin A to other side and rep from * to * to match first side.

Stuff the heart firmly, then gather each side of the top shaping and fasten off neatly.



Using 0.75mm hook and B, make 30 ch.

Row 1 (dec): 1 dc into 3rd ch from hook, 1 dc in each of next 25 ch, dc2dec, turn (27 sts).

Row 2 (dec): Miss first dc, 1 dc into each of next 24 dc, dc2dec, turn (25 sts).

Row 3 (inc): 3 ch, 1 dc in 2nd and 3rd ch from hook, 1 dc into next 25 dc, turn (27 sts). 

Row 4 (inc): 3 ch, 1 dc into 2nd and 3rd ch from hook, 1 dc into next 26 sts, sl st into next st.

Fasten off.




Using 0.75mm hook and A, make 10 ch, join with a sl st to first ch to form a ring. Into the ring work 14 dc, sl st to first dc and fasten off, leaving a long length of thread.



Using 0.75mm hook and C, make 4 ch and join with sl st to first ch to form a ring.

Round 1: 1 ch (does not count as st), 6 dc into ring (6 sts).

Round 2 (inc): (Dc2inc) 6 times (12 sts).

Rounds 3–5: 1 dc in each dc.

Fasten off leaving long length, thread through sts, stuff firmly, gather up and fasten off.


Chain and loop

Using 0.75mm hook and C, make 16 ch and join with sl st to first ch to form a ring.

1 ch, 24 dc into ring, sl st to first dc.

Next: Work a chain measuring 17in (43cm), or to desired length, allowing an extra 5⁄8in (1.5cm) for attaching the heart. Fasten off and sew button to end.


Making up

Position the ribbon at an angle across the heart. Sew in place. The stiff nature of the metallic thread means that it keeps its shape quite well, though the ends can be painted with a little PVA glue to stiffen them, if desired. Stitch the swallow charm to the top shaping at the front, above the lower end of the ribbon. Make the stitch that holds the swallow a little loose to allow the bird to move. Attach the link just below the top shaping at the back, laying it flat against the heart and leaving a gap at the top of the link to thread the chain through. Fold the chain in the middle to form a loop and thread it through the link, using a crochet hook to catch it and draw it through for about 1in (2.5cm). Pass the ends of the chain through the loop. Pull tightly on the ends to close the loop and secure.


Variation: Brooch

Make the Love Heart Tattoo in the same way, leaving out the link and necklace. Stitch a small brooch bar to the widest part, just below the shaping, at the back of the piece. 


Fancy that!

Considered a luxury, in the 19th century crochet was taught to the young ladies of the upper classes, who created intricate items to decorate their clothing and homes. The lower classes would be encouraged to make do and mend, knitting basic necessities. 

Project taken from Crocheted Accessories by Vanessa Mooncie, published by GMC (£14.99, available from

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