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Pillows Woven From the Heart

What does your heart say?  I wove three heart-shaped pillows with my Martha Stewart Crafts DIY Loom, and each had a different message.  Several messages, actually, because each heart spoke of many things.


When I first saw the pattern for the Woven Heart Pillow in the Lion Brand pattern database, I was charmed.  Small, decorative, and adorable, it seemed a perfect Valentine’s Day gift.


Setting up the loom was easy.  There’s a clear diagram to follow.  What I didn’t expect was having to set up the loom pegs just once.  When you warp anything on this loom, you anchor the beginning and end with a simple slipknot.  After you’ve completed your weaving, you undo both slipknots, and the woven panel you’ve made relaxes as the warp loosens slightly.  Then you gently lift your weaving off the pegs.


After that, the pegs are still in place on the loom, and it’s fast to re-warp the heart shape for your second panel.  That’s one reason why I was able to make three heart pillows in quick succession.  Even now I have another in progress, and I keep it handy so I can pick it up to weave a few more inches during spare moments.


The first heart I made was with the Hudson Bay colorway of Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick®, and I used Vanna’s Choice® worsted in Linen, a lustrous neutral, for the warp.  Hudson Bay is the yarn featured in the pattern photo, and I wanted to see what it would be like to weave with a color-changing yarn.  The yarn, I learned, magically lays down its varying colors in a predetermined pattern.


There’s no right or wrong when weaving with yarn like this.  It unrolls, it makes its pattern, and it’s always beautifully intriguing.  Tweedy Hudson Bay, for example, has a Mid-Century Modern vibe.  My next heart was done with Wool-Ease® Thick & Quick® Crimson, a rich red interspersed with soft white.  It knits up as a stripe, but weaving it, with a warp of Vanna’s Choice® in Linen, creates a slanted checkerboard pattern interspersed with ruby.   The dominant effect is panels of color and motion—a very pretty result!


The tweedy look of the Hudson Bay heart, and the geometric effect of the Crimson heart individualized each pillow.  The third heart I made was of solid pink yarn, the shade called Blossom.  This I envisioned as a baby gift—it would look sweet in a crib—but when a friend who’s a breast-cancer survivor saw it, she exclaimed, “I would have loved a pillow like this during my recovery!”

After her mastectomy, she found it hard to lie down or sit comfortably.  “If I’d had this pillow”—she tucked it between her arm and ribs—“it would have provided relief from the soreness.”  She suggested a heart pillow would be great for anyone who needed some post-surgical comfort.  It’s just the right size to prop a knee, an ankle, or a foot.


What will your heart say?  Weave one for your valentine, for someone who’s healing, for a new baby, or for yourself.  It’s a warm and fuzzy gift, useful and beautiful, that expresses love and caring in many different ways.

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  • c.morgan

    A heart motif is never just seasonal or too tacky/sentimental as a gift. All of us are drawn to making and giving something like this, and the lucky recipient will always be reminded (and touched) whenever seeing or using a HEARTFELT heart.

  • Jane Healy

    What type of peg board is that? i cant find anything that size.