Knit a heart for Covid-19 patients

On Saturday 4th April, we’ve just seen the following message on the BBC news website asking for our help.

Laura Kirby-Deacon says the hearts will help those who lose loved ones

Nurse Laura Kirby-Deacon wants people to send small handcrafted hearts to give to patients who contracted Covid-19 and their families.

Laura, who works as a sister at the Great Western Hospital’s intensive care unit in Swindon, said the hearts could bring comfort to families who have not been able to see a loved one before they die.

She said it was important to use clean yarn and seal the hearts in a taped bag, such as a freezer bag or bin liner.

She also asked for the bags to be dated because 72 hours must have elapsed before they are safe to use.

Laura urged anyone wanting to post hearts to send them to:

Brighter Futures at the GWH, Great Western Hospital, Marlborough Road, Swindon SN3 6BB

The link is

14 thoughts on “Knit a heart for Covid-19 patients

  1. Would you be able to post some advice on how to do this for knitting newbies so we can help out? I work at the Great Western in ITU and would love to be able to make them.

    1. I’ve just spoken with Iris Rowe, who designs all the lovely toys which go in the magazine’s Toy Box section each month. Iris will work out a small heart pattern, which machine knitters of all abilities will be able to follow. She’s starting today and we’ll post it on the website as soon as it’s ready. In the meantime, keep well, stay safe and look after one another, Anne

  2. Some of my sheltered housing residents would love to help knit hearts for the patients of COVID 19. I will look out for the pattern. Stay safe and well everyone.

    1. Hi Julie
      Thanks for an amazing offer and the pattern is in Recent Posts here on the website.
      Stay safe and look after one another.
      Best wishes, Anne

  3. Hi
    Do you have a pattern for the ” knit a heart for covid-19 patients project “.
    If so, could you please email it.


    1. Hi Ali
      Thanks for asking and the pattern is here on the website!
      Best wishes, Anne

      1. Hi Anne, which website is the pattern on?

        1. Hi Katie

          It’s here, of course! Hearts of Gold.

          Best wishes, Anne

  4. For those who hand knit, here is a free pattern from Ravelry. I have written to the designer, and she’s happy for me to share it:

    I have added another couple of rows to the straight section (before division into the two sides of the heart), to make it more heart-shaped and less kidney bean.

  5. I have been machine knitting these and tweaked the pattern:-
    Cast on 8 stitches by chain with hook.
    Weight on.
    Knit two rows.
    Then increase one stitch each end of every alternate row until 30 stitches.
    Carriage should be on right hand side.
    Push 15 left hand side needles out of work and put hold on carriage.
    Transfer middle stitch to next needle and do that for next 5 rows.
    Cut yarn and with bodkin scoop up the stitches right to left.
    Cancel hold on carriage.
    Transfer middle stitch to next needle on left every row for next 5 rows.
    Cut yarn and scoop up right to left with bodkin.
    Then make second one and then sew together leaving gap for stuffing.

  6. Hi
    I live in Hull and I’m knitting some pink hearts for your lovely appeal. I just wondered if all hospitals are appealing for the knitted hearts or do I send them to your hospital? Just unsure where they need to be sent once I’ve completed them. How many are you needing?

  7. Hello Anne,
    So lovely to be back in the knitting community after such a long break.
    I have a lot of four ply acrylic which I was going to donate but am unable to now, so when I saw the cat blankets and hearts I thought I could use it for those.
    I’m not mathematical, would it be possible to publish the formula for converting DK to four ply. I find this really helpful in your magazine patterns as I only have a standard gauge and a lot of patterns are for DK machines now.
    I really hope you and your loved ones are well and coping with this so scary situation.
    Thank you so much for the magazine and feeling of community you bring.
    Sue Hunt

    1. Hi Sue
      Thanks so much for your good wishes and the formula is simple.
      1. An typical stocking stitch tension for hand knitting DK (and a match on LK-150 mid-gauge machines) is 22 sts and 28 rows to 10 cm, 4 in.
      2. The standard 4-ply stocking stitch tension on standard gauge machines is 28 sts and 40 rows to 10 cm, 4 in.
      3. To convert the stitches, take the machine-knitting 28 and divide by the hand knit 22. 28 ÷ 22 = 1.27. Multiply the stitches given for the hand knit by 1.27. So, if you cast on 92 sts in hand knitting, multiply 92 x 1.27 = 116.84 and you need to cast on 117 sts in 4-ply. (If it’s above .5 we round it up and if it’s below, we round it down.)
      4. The same formula works for rows. Take the machine-knitting tension of 40 rows to 10 cm and divide by the hand knit tension so 40 ÷ 28 = 1.42. Multiply the rows given for the hand knit by 1.42. So, if you need to knit 86 rows in hand knitting, multiply 86 x 1.42 = 122.12 and you need to knit 122 rows in 4-ply.
      Always start with the machine knitting tension of 28 sts and 40 rows and divide by whatever hand knitting tension is given to replicate any design in 4-ply stocking stitch.
      Happy knitting, Anne

  8. I knitted about 30 little hearts and handed them in to St John’s Hospital, Livingston and sent some to Great Western Hospital in Swindon. I asked both to let me know if they would like some more, but haven’t heard back. Does anyone know if any other hospitals are interested in receiving them?

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