Wednesday, 30 January 2013

Picot Hearts Neck Warmer

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Many years ago, I spent an unforgettable year in Canada.  Every moment was wonderful and I loved it immensely. 

One thing that struck me as a little different however, was Valentine’s Day.  In Australia, Valentine’s is for lovers (or would be lovers – that is, after all, the point of the day) but in Canada it was for everyone. 

Having never had a Valentine before, I was inundated with them and more than a little disappointed to discover they were from children and friends I had met.  Not realizing just how big-a-deal the day was, I am ashamed to admit, I was a little non-plussed by the whole event.  I was 18 and wanted a PROPER Valentine and Kiddy Valentines did not make the grade as far as I was concerned.

Every Valentine’s day since then, I have to smile a little at my disillusioned 18 year old self and when I saw this cable pattern, I thought I would make myself a neckwarmer to remind me that Valentine’s day is for everyone – not just young lovers. Whilst you don’t necessarily have to wear your heart on your sleeve, you can wear it snugly around your neck.


Use a small circular 4mm needle and 8ply wool of your choice.  This pattern uses Debbie Bliss - Prima.

Cabling without a cable needle 

This pattern is cabled on every second row - some have more cables than others so there is no escaping it.  It is the perfect project to learn how to cable without a cable needle.  The cables are only 2x2 which makes learning and picking up stitches much easier.  If you would like to try this method, the following article in 'Knitty' is very easy to follow.  Scroll to about the middle of the article and everything is explained.  There are also a number of youtube videos that show this method which are only a 'google' away. This method is quicker and is tighter as the stitches are not hanging off the back or the front of your knitting and you are not 'pulling' on them.  I'm sure you'll be pleased with the result.  It does take a bit of practice though but, once mastered, you'll never be a slave to the cable needle again.  However, it's just a suggestion.  Feel free to cable however you want.


  • P3B   - Slip 1 stitch onto a cable needle and hold at back.  K2, P1 from cable needle
  • P3F   - Slip 2 stitches onto a cable needle and hold in front, P1, K2 from cable needle
  • C4B   - Slip 2 stitches onto a cable needle and hold at the back, K2, K2 from cable needle
  • C4F   - Slip 2 stitches onto a cable needle and hold in front, K2, K2 from cable needle
  • P4F   - Slip 2 stitches onto a cable needle and hold in front, P2, K2 from cable needle
  • P4B   - Slip 2 stitches onto a cable needle and hold in back, K2, P2 from cable needle

Using the picot method, cast on 126 stitches.  This method of cast on enables a bit of 'stretch' at the bottom of the neckwarmer so it doesn't become too tight.

Picot cast on.  Using the cable method of cast on, cast on 5 stitches.  Cast off 2 stitches. Transfer (slip)the remaining stitch on the RHS needle to the LHS needle and cast on 4 more stitches to make a total of 5.  Cast off 2, transfer and repeat until you have required amount of stitches.

Cable Cast on.  When you insert the needle to cast on a stitch, instead of inserting it through the stitch, insert it before the stitch ie. between 2 stitches.

Row 1:  Join stitches in the round ensuring they are not twisted and *Knit 16, Purl 2*, repeat to end. Place stitch marker to indicate the beginning of each row.

Row 2: *P6,  C4B,  P8*, Repeat to end.

Row 3:  and every alternate row - Knit all knit stitches and Purl all purl stitches

Row 4:  *P4,  C4B,  C4f,  P6* Repeat to end.

Row 6:  *P2,  P4B,  K4,  P4F,  P4*, Repeat to end.

Row 8:  *P1,  P3B,  P2,  C4B,  P2,  P3F,  P3* Repeat to end.

Row 10: *P3B,  P3,  K4,  P3,  P3F,  P2*, Repeat to end.

Row 12: *K2,  P4,  C4B,  P4,  K2,  P2*, Repeat to end.

Row 14: *P4F,  C4B,  C4F,  P4B,  P2*,  Repeat to end.

Row 15:   As row 3.

Rows 6 - 15 form the heart pattern and is repeated for the required length of the neck warmer.  In my case, this was 7 repeats.

Once you have reached your desired length, bind off using the ICord bind off.

ICord Bind off

On the first stitch of your bind off row, cast on 4 stitches.
Knit 3 and using the SSK method of decreasing, bind off 2 stitches.
The SSK bind off is essential in this method as it is a left hand sloping decrease.

(SSK – Slip the next 2 stitches separately as if to knit.  Insert the LHS needle through the front of the 2 slipped stitches – the RHS needle should now be at the back of the stitches and Knit 2 together).  

Slip all 4 stitches on the RHS needle to the LHS and knit 3.  SSK again, Slip all 4 stitches and continue until you have 4 remaining stitches on your LHS needle.

K2tog twice.

Slip 2 stitches to LHS.  K2tog. Finish

Using the tail of your yarn, gently sew the edges of your ICord together.

Note:  The neckwarmer does not sit as upright as the above photos shows.  I used some card wrapped around the neck to create some stiffness to show off the cabling.

This neck warmer will keep you toasty warm in the winter months, just as a true Valentine should. 

More Cowls & Scarves from FitzBirch

Happy Knitting and Happy Valentine's day.


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  1. Can I just say that - Neck Warmers are the best thing, Ever, for keeping you warm! Heaps better than a scarf.

    I can't knit but maybe I can get a friend to knit or I can learn (I'll add it to the list).
    Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Lisa Jo. I have recently become a big fan of cowls and neckwarmers and keep finding excuses to knit them. Good luck with learning to knit, it's a most rewarding pastime. Louise

  2. I love neck Warmer and I love the pattern on this one. I host a linky party on Wednesdays and would love for you to link this. Fluster’s Creative Muster Party

    I am a new follower and have nominated you for the Leibster Award you can check it out here: Leibster Award

    Hugs and Smiles,

    Fluster Buster

    1. Thanks Robin - We'll be sure to come to your party this week. I love to see what other creative folk have been doing.

      Thanks so much for the Leibster nomination! Deb

  3. So lovely!!! Love the color! Thanks so much for sharing pattern! Have a fabulous week!
    Hugs from Portugal,

    Ana Love Craft

  4. Love the cable pattern; just wondering if there is a typo on
    "Row 12: *P2, P4, C4B, P4, K2, P2*, Repeat to end."

    Should the first 2 stitches be K2?


    1. Hi Janine ..
      Took me quite a while to go back through the pattern again, but yes, it is K2.
      Apologies for any confusion there.

  5. A bazillion thank yous for freely sharing your knowledge. I had begun a sweater with a heart cable stitch from Vogue Dictionary of Knitting Stitches, lost the book in a cross-continent journey (but that's another story…), and was delighted to find that this is indeed the same or very similar stitch pattern. One of those happy global technology moments. I just love envisioning ladies in Australia knitting the same pattern as in North America. Still an invaluable guide. Hope they republish. Would love to redesign a revised edition.

    Doing some Design-As-You-Go work good for using up spare skeins and various fibers. Some of your readers may enjoy in-depth technique on my blogpost:

    And find my Heart-on-My-Sleeve sweater in my textile design portfolio:


  6. Love this cable pattern so much so I used it to make a baby blanket for my niece. Thank you!