Monday, November 18, 2013

Elbow Patch Knitting Pattern

I had only owned my newest sweater for about a month when I realized I had ripped a hole in its elbow.  To be fair, it was a pretty cheap sweater from H&M and sometimes you really do get what you pay for.

I was still bummed out about the hole, though, so I decided to knit some fun elbow patches to cover it up (and to protect the other elbow from getting holes too).

I've seen various iterations of heart-shaped elbow patches on sweaters in stores and on the internet, but I haven't seen any knitting patterns for them so I made up my own.

This pattern is similar to the hanging heart knitting pattern that I posted last Valentine's Day, except I made this one slightly shorter and wider and less pointy on the bottom so that it would cover my elbows properly.  I also knitted these patches with 2 strands of yarn at once in order to make them extra thick and sturdy.

-  2 skeins of worsted weight yarn (or one skein from which you can use both ends)
-  US Size 8 knitting needles
-  Scissors
-  Tapestry needle to weave in the ends

Abbreviations used in this pattern:
kfb:  Knit front and back.  An increase stitch involving knitting the front and the back of a single stitch to create 2 stitches.
k2tog:  Knit two together.  A decrease stitch involving knitting two stitches together to form a single stitch.
k2tog(tbl):  Knit two together through the back of the loop.  Inserting the needle through the back of the loops of 2 stitches to perform a k2tog decrease stitch.
k3tog:  Knit three together.  A decrease stitch involving knitting three stitches together to form a single stitch.
k3tog(tbl):  Knit three together through the back of the loop.  Inserting the needle through the back of the loops of 3 stitches to perform a k3tog decrease stitch.

*Knit this entire pattern using two strands of yarn together as if they were one strand.*

Row 1:  cast on 2 stitches
Row 2:  kfb, kfb
Row 3:  purl 4
Row 4:  kfb, knit 2, kfb
Row 5:  purl 6
Row 6:  kfb, knit 4, kfb

You have now created the top left hump of your heart.  Cut the yarn so that your knitting is no longer attached to your skein of yarn, leaving a long enough tail to weave in later.

Push the existing knitting down the needle, saving it for later.

Repeat rows 1 through 6 again, starting by casting onto the empty needle.

Now you should have both humps for the top of your heart on one needle.  Push them together and knit the rest of the pattern as if it were all one piece.

Row 7:  purl 16
Row 8:  knit 16
Row 9:  purl 16
Row 10:  k2tog, knit 12, k2tog(tbl)
Row 11:  purl 14
Row 12:  k2tog, knit 10, k2tog(tbl)
Row 13:  purl 12
Row 14:  k2tog, knit 8, k2tog(tbl)
Row 15:  purl 10
Row 16:  k2tog, knit 6, k2tog(tbl)
Row 17:  purl 8
Row 18:  k3tog, knit 2, k3tog(tbl)
Row 19:  purl 4
Row 20:  k2tog, k2tog(tbl)

Bind off purlwise and weave in the ends.

Attaching the patches to the sweater:
Use safety pins to attach the patches to the sweater, then try it on to make sure they are in the right spots.  Once you've got them in the right place, sew the patches onto the sweater using a tapestry needle and the same yarn that you used to knit the patches.

I couldn't be happier with the way my elbow patches turned out, and I hope you feel the same way if you choose to knit these too.

Here's a before and after picture of my sweater.  Note the hole in the left elbow on the "before" side.  And just for funsies, you can also note how crazy windy it was when I took the "after" shot.

Happy heart knitting!


  1. My word this is adorable! Thanks for sharing this awesome pattern!

  2. What a great idea! Thanks for posting this :)

  3. Heart elbow patches??? Could they be any more adorable? LOVE!

    Ladyface Blog

  4. Laura, these are just the cutest! I like that you didn't go with a traditional red for the hearts. It gives it some edginess.

    I really need to learn to knit. This would be a great simple project to learn on. I'm pinning this one! :)

  5. Such a great idea, and thank you for the pattern! I can't wait to go find a sweater to fix up now! I shared this on a recent blog post where I shared some great knitting/crochet projects that I've found.

    1. Thanks for including my patches in your post! I'm heading over to your blog now to check it out. =)

  6. this looks awesome! how convenient that you'd get a hole there :)


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