Hospiscare is campaigning for fair statutory funding for our hospice. To find out more, please see www.hospiscare.co.uk/fair 


How to make memory hearts for patients and families

Could you help Hospiscare by sewing or knitting hearts to help patients and families?

Thank you so much in showing interest in creating small fabric or knitted memory hearts. We would be so grateful of your support and it would help our patients and families when they need it most, here’s some useful information.

When a patient has died we send a heart with them to the funeral directors, along with some matching ones which we give to their loved ones. All of these memory hearts are donated to us by wonderful crafting supporters.

For those looking for a free knit pattern we have one down below – there are also lots of help videos and blogs etc elsewhere online if you want to do more research or need a more thorough explanation of the creation.

Finished some beautiful memory hearts? Deliver your crafts to Searle House

Free knitted heart pattern – from the NHS appeal to crafters –

You will need: 

  • simply soft Aran yarn
  • 4mm knitting needles
  • stitch marker
  • yarn needle
  • scissors
  • stuffing


Make 2 sides.

Cast on 3 sts. (stitches)

Row 1: Purl

Row 2: K1, M1, K1, M1, K1 (5sts)

Row 3: Purl

Row 4: K1, M1, K3, M1, K1 (7sts)

Row 5: Purl

Row 6: K1, M1, K5, M1, K1 (9sts)

Row 7: Purl

Row 8: K1, M1, K7, M1, K1 (11sts)

Row 9: P5, K1, P5

Row 10: K1, M1, K3, P3, K3, M1, K1 (13sts)

Row 11: P4, K5, P4

Row 12: K1, M1, K2, P7, K2 M1, K1 (15sts)

Row 13: P1, M1, P2, K9, P2, M1, P1 (17sts)

Row 14: K3, P11 K3 (17sts)

Row 15: P1, M1, P1, K13, P1, M1, P1 (19sts)

Row 16: K1, M1, K1, P15, K1, M1, K1 (21sts)

Row 17: P3, K15, P3

Row 18: K1, M1, K2, P7, K1, P7, K2, M1, K1 (23sts)

Row 19: P4, K7, P1, K7, P4

Row 20: K4, P6, K3, P6, K4

Row 21: P5, K4, P5, K4, P5

Row 22: K5, P3, K7, P3, K5

Row 23: Purl

Row 24: K11 (turn work leaving the remaining 12sts unworked and continue on these 11sts only)

Row 25: P9, P2tog (10sts)

Row 26: K2tog, K6, K2tog (8sts)

Row 27: P6, P2tog (7sts)

Row 28: K2tog, K3, K2tog (5sts)

Row 29: P2tog, cast off purl wise

With right side facing, re-join yarn top centre back, to complete left mound as follows: Row 24a: K2tog, K10 (11sts)

Row 25a: P2tog, P9 (10sts)

Row 26a: K2tog, K6, K2tog (8sts)

Row 27a: P2tog, P6 (7sts)

Row 28a: K2tog, K3, K2tog (5sts)

Row 29a: Cast off 2sts, P2tog, cast off


Finishing: With tail ends left on the heart, begin to sew around the sides using over sew stitch, leaving a gap to insert stuffing. Turn inside out, fill with stuffing and sew up gap to close, and secure in ends.

Your first knitted heart is now complete! Repeat the whole process to create another heart, and complete the matching pair.