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In 2020, Vogue Knitting Live asked me to give a lecture on medKNITation, my blend of traditional meditation techniques and knitting, at their conference in New York City. I was expecting a handful of curious people, or those who had time between classes with big-name teachers. I was given a final headcount in case I had handouts for attendees: there were over 160 people coming, a capacity crowd.

I had a handout of yoga-based moves for knitters, but I wanted to give something more to the people who were kind enough to give me their time and attention. At the time, I’d become entranced by yarn bombing, street art using knitting and crochet. While I admired the huge murals created by London Kaye and other fiber artists, I knew going big wasn’t my thing. But going small …

The teenage girl in me never outgrew drawing hearts in messages. Could I make yarn hearts? I found a clever tutorial by Crochet Lovers, the English-language version of Ahuyama Crochet. In the video were perfect tiny hearts, along with a quick view of what one could look like attached to a craft paper gift tag.

The hearts would be a thank-you to the people attending my lecture, and, I thought, a small-scale yarn bombing project. The hearts alone were cute, but I wanted them to have meaning. I remembered the craft tag in the video tutorial; ah, a space for a message.

Craft tags are small. And when you’re making 400 hearts that need 400 messages tied to them, you want to be pithy. I meditated on kindness and a series of powerful messages came. Eventually, I made and handed out about 400 of what came to be known as Kindness Hearts.

The messages aren’t meant to be directives. I don’t tell people to be more kind. The tags on the hearts are meant to remind people of their true nature. I want to tell them things they may have forgotten, or may never have heard.

When I handed out the hearts, some of the recipients, upon reading the messages, wept.

I put love into each message I write and each heart I crochet. Sometimes, I hear from people I gave hearts to years ago that they still have that small amount of yarn stitched into a shape with that little piece of paper attached. Some have told me the message changed their day. A small gesture, but one that has a big effect.

Last fall, my mother was hospitalized twice in two weeks. The shock and the fear of what might happen, stripped away the feeling of basic okay-ness of everyday life. I felt vulnerable and alone. Any act of kindness gave me something I desperately needed to keep going. I thought about other people needing that gift. I knew it was time to make the Kindness Hearts again.


In January, I went back to Vogue Knitting Live in New York City, not to lecture in front of a crowd but to hand out hearts. Mom was better and got to celebrate the holidays at home, and I wanted others to feel what I had felt when people had been kind to her and to me—that someone saw them, valued them, and recognized them as important.

The first person I gave a heart to had just lost a beloved family member: she responded with a hug. Others expressed delight—This is for me?—and a few got shiny in the eyes. Volunteers and teachers attached the hearts to their name badges or tied them to their knitting bags.

Not everyone loves the hearts; a four-year-old looked at me as though I’d offered him a plate of broccoli (crudité sans dip). I wish you could’ve seen his face, or, better, the joyful expressions of the happier recipients, but my rule is to not ask for a photo when I hand someone a heart. Gifts are not meant to be transactional.

Yet I do get something out of this, something more valuable than I could have imagined.

People smile. Maybe not the four-year-old, but 99% of the other people who get Kindness Hearts radiate gladness and their smiles light up a world that needs it. I’m the one who gets the gift, so many times.

If people still look confused, I tell them they can use their Kindness Heart as a bookmark, as a way to identify their luggage, or as some flair for their yarn bag. Or they can always pass the kindness along as a gift.

That’s what I get. Each Kindness Heart I give away has been a gift to me.

About The Author

Suzan Colón is a writer, a reader of the tarot, and a teacher of MedKNITation, a system she developed for meditation with knitting and crochet.


  • I am so moved by this. Thousands of hearts which have the power to multiply the infinite love that abounds ❤. Thank you Suzan.

    • Thank you so much, Judy! It’s a gift to be able to generate some kindness in the world. It always makes a difference.

      • Is there a written pattern to share?

        • I love this idea and am going to make some. I bought the tags on Amazon. I am limited on ideas for the sayings. Could you start a list of sayings for us to choose from? People could add to it as they are inspired. Thank you

          • I love this idea! I once had a yarn group at church and we made little squares with prayer cards attached for people to share. I think I may try the hearts now – sometimes a kind word can change someone’s day.
            Thanks you!

        • Hi Lindy! I don’t have a written pattern, though I’ve seen a few here and there online. I watched the video made by Crochet Lovers on YouTube over and over while writing it down, though it’s easy to follow along. I’ll probably do a tutorial in one of my live medKNITation sessions soon!

  • I went to your session in 2020 and I still have my heart!!! ♥️ Thank you!!

    • Oh my goodness, Linda, that’s lovely! Thank you

  • Suzan, I love this column. Thank you for sharing this and for the reminder that the simple can be so powerful

    • Thank you so much, Kathleen.

  • My eyes got shiny reading this. Our world needs more love and kindness, much more. Thank you for inspiring us!

    • Thank you for the kind words, Mary!

  • How beautiful!

    • I so appreciate that, Cindy.

  • Beautiful and touching. Thank you for sharing

    • Thank you for reading, Florence!

  • I made these hearts for my grandsons class and the local library, this Valentine’s Day. I thought about tagging them as I usually do my donated mittens, but just didn’t have the time. I will certainly tag the next time it’s such a lovely idea.

    • How wonderful that you made the hearts for the kids, Wanda! If you want to add the tags, just leave a long enough tail at the start and end, about 9 inches each. That way, they can be tied to a tag and still have enough yarn to tie to other things or be used as a bookmark.

  • Perfect timing! Thank you Suzan!

    • Any time is a perfect time for kindness! Thank you, Joan!

  • Thank you so very much, Suzan, for this wonderful piece. I’m a knitter but I’m going to begin crocheting these tiny hearts, attach them to tags and gift them to. . . Whoever for whatever reason.

    • While I’d never discourage anyone from learning to crochet, I know there are patterns for knitting small hearts out in the yarniverse. You can try both and see which you like better! I’m just faster at crocheting hearts than knitting them, and when you’re making hundreds, speed is kinda key 😉 Thanks for reading, Lindy!

    • Hi Martha! Didn’t see anything in the comments, but thank you for reading!

  • I make these for coworkers to hang on their name badges and am often asked for extra for family or friends, and occasionally a customer will ask where I got the heart and I’ll give them one. I never thought of tagging them but I will definitely start doing so. *heart emoji*

    • What a wonderful idea, Karen! Big heart emoji back!

  • Ohhhhh thank you for sharing. As a crochet person, I am always looking for a new project idea. I can’t wait to try this!

    • Ah, another crochet person! These are so fun to do while watching TV, and you get to experience the satisfaction of a completed project every two and a half minutes. Enjoy!

    • Ah, another crochet person! 😀 Yes, these are a perfect “little” project, so fun to do while watching TV. And you get to experience the satisfaction of a completed project every two and a half minutes!

      • Moved beyond words by this article. I’m a keen crocheter and have made hearts to put on birthday and valentine cards. I will start making these little hearts and spread the love in our neck of the woods. Thank you Suzan. Barbara x

    • Ah, another crochet person! Yes, this is a perfect “little” project to crochet. So fun to do while watching TV, and you get to experience the satisfaction of a completed project every two and a half minutes!

  • Lovely!

    • Thank you, Suzanne!

  • What a sweet idea! It might be enough to get me to crochet!

  • Your message this morning is one of the most touching I have read. It is precious and will set off a chain of heartfelt reactions. Thank you for spreading love to all who read you today. May we then do the same.

    • Thank you so much, Micheline! Every heart shares creates so much more kindness.

  • This is brilliant. We need more of this in the world. Simple inspiration and gratitude for others.

    • Thank you, Sammie! I was inspired by what someone else did, and in turn, others are inspired. It’s wonderful the way that works!

  • When a member of my family was fighting dark demons and the rest of us were standing and shaking and trying to help but left in our own worries, a group of strangers (but not) knitted us hearts to carry in our pockets. That person has been fine for over a decade but I asked not less than a year ago, individually and privately, and every single one us KNOWS where our heart is. Maybe still with us or given to someone that needed it but we KNOW. We know.

    • Afton, what a beautiful gesture those strangers who were friends you just hadn’t met yet did for you. And yes, we know now what we can do for others. Thank you.

  • What a great idea! Yes, Kindness is a Superpower. That would be my Tag message.

    • That’s a great message, Chloe! And as you write them, you’ll find more coming to you!

  • I ❤️ this! Thank you, great idea!

    • Thank you, Laura!

  • How lovely to wake up and read this. This really started my day out wonderfully. I am so touched.
    You too are special. Thank you.

    • I’m so glad this started your day on a kind note, Sandra, and thank you for the kind words!

  • Love(ly)

    Is there a pattern you would like to kindly like to share?

    • I found a pattern by searching for “crochet heart keychain”, it was years ago so I don’t remember the website. It’s easy to memorize.

    • Hey Cindy! I didn’t include the pattern because it’s by Crochet Lovers, but the link is in the article. I just watched it a dozen times and wrote it down as she went along! 😀

  • In a time when the world has so
    much unkindness, this story and your hearts and their messages really fill a deep need.

    • Thank you so much, Jan.

  • What a great article to read first thing this morning!

  • You made my day! Thank you for sharing the power of a heart shared.

    • They’re so tiny, but they make a big impact, Milou!

  • Love this. I don’t crochet but you’ve inspired me to make some of these hearts and tags for the people I work with.

    • I know they’ll love your hearts, Lou!

  • Only someone with a beautiful heart could have thought of this! Thank you for sharing yours with us!

    • You’re so kind, Renee! Thank you.

  • In today’s world it is good to be reminded that the smallest things are the most powerful.

    • You’re so right, Pamela. A moment’s thought and kindness can last forever.

  • Very sweet gesture and idea!

    • Thank you, Denise! Very sweet of you to read this!

  • There is a ‘group’/‘movement’ called ‘random acts of crochet kindness’ (?) which leaves small crochet pieces – be they funny worms, hearts, rainbows, other animals, in random places for people to find, a way of spreading cheer. The variety is huge, the smiles the pieces elucidate are wonderful.

    • What a wonderful idea, Gail! I’m going to look them up. Thank you!

  • Thank you for sharing the story behind the hearts! I have one from VKL when you made the blue and yellow ones in support of Ukraine.

    • That’s so cool, Lisa! Glad you have one of those “limited edition” hearts! 😀

  • Wow! My heart is lifted Higher today!

    • I’m so glad, Lisa Veronica! Thank you!

  • Kindness is YOUR superpower!

    • Kindness is OUR superpower, Kim! 😀

  • What a beautiful way to thank a group of friends who are supporting me through a difficult time. So simple, but so touching. Thank you for sharing. ❤️

    • How wonderful that you have those friends supporting you through this time, Kathy. I hope your spirits are lifted as you make the hearts. That always happens for me.

  • This is a beautiful post…thank you! We need reminders of kindness now more than ever. Along those lines, our city’s fiber event supported a wonderful organization called The Peyton Heart Project a few years back – they accept crocheted and knitted hearts, tag them with loving messages, and distribute them throughout the country for suicide awareness and prevention. The Peyton Heart Project website has all of the details, plus links to patterns that meet their specific requirements.

    • Yes!! I call them “heart bombs”. I still make hearts for Peyton Heart Project. I truly believe one kind word can change someone’s entire day.

    • That is such a wonderful and meaningful project, Lisa. Thank you for sharing it.

  • That is awesome

    • Thank you, Flo!

  • Thank you for your thoughts. Our world needs them right now. Think what the world could do with your article? So much!!! Kindness in any form is a gift to the receiver as the giver is moved to do so for whatever reason. Kindness can be given in so many ways. Your gift, as a knitter, crocheter or fiber artist, is so simple, but it has a great impact…..a truly a gift!!

    • Your words are a gift, Caryl! It’s true, I do receive so much from giving out these little gifts. 🙂

  • I love this simple act of kindness! We never know what’s going on in someone else’s life and your dear little heart is a reminder that someone cares enough to gift you one❤️

    • I know what it feels like to have the weight of the world lifted from my shoulders by a stranger’s random act of kindness. I love being able to do that for people, and knowing we can all do it. Thank you, Ellen.

  • Wow, what a great idea! I would like to try this on a much smaller scale since knitting takes me a long time, but I love the idea of having a stash of them whenever I go out. I just recently had a handful of the small boxes of Valentine’s conversation hearts that I gave to waiters, retail salespeople and anyone I met on Feb. 14. Just a delight to see the look of joy on people’s faces when you hand them something unexpected like that. Thanks for the idea.

    • What a thoughtful thing you did, Linda! Same idea, different material 😉 I make these while watching TV with my husband so I always have a stash—you’re exactly right about that.

  • I am a yoga teacher and I spread the word by writing loving thoughts on small cards and leaving them wherever I go. Under the sugar bowl at a restaurant, on the TP dispenser in the ladies room, in books at the library. During the month of December for the past twelve years I have written a daily email filled with music, images, quotes and a daily gem for the reader as well as a RAK to give to others, and this is one of them. Raising spirits and spreading love is my super power.

    • Absolutely, Martha! What lovely gestures you’ve made. Namaste!

  • What a wonderful gift you are giving people….the simple act of kindness. So needed in this world! Thank you!

    • Thank you so much, Michelle!

  • Thank you to everyone who read my article today! The site may prevent me from replying to all of you, but please know your words are a gift of kindness that I truly appreciate. <3

  • Thank you for sharing this lovely idea! I practice a random act of kindness on the 8th of each month and this will definitely be something I do!
    You are love in a tion!

    • What a wonderful practice, Becci! You are love in action as well!

  • I am very touched by this today. Thanks you.

    • Thank you, Sue—I appreciate your reading this.

  • I love this idea! Every spring, on Mother’s Day, my PFLAG group gives hugs to the LGBTQ community outside a city bar. I hope we can make a ton of these to hand out to so many people who are not feeling the love these days. THANK YOU!!

    • Kristin, what a lovely thing to do. The LGBTQ+ community truly needs support. It was a great gift—for me—to be able to make and give about 900 rainbow and trans-flag colored hearts to Knit the Rainbow, an organization that distributes handmade garments to LGBTQ+ teenagers who are out on the streets. FYI, I used Lion Brand Ice Cream Baby yarn in Cake Batter for the trans flag colored hearts. I distribute rainbow and trans hearts on Gay Pride Days, and they are always appreciated—by everyone. <3

  • What a wonderful gift! I like to give each guest a favor when they visit. This is so heartfelt.

    • Your guests will love them, Michele, and how thoughtful of you!

  • What an incredibly sweet gesture, Suzan! I think I’m going to have refresh my crochet skills to make a few of these hearts.

    • They are almost as much a delight to make as to give, Shmpca! You’ll have fun getting back to your hook!

  • This is really wonderful. Thank you for a beautiful idea!

    • Thank you, Pam! Happy heart making!

  • I like this a lot. Bravo.

    • Thank you for the kind words, Mary Lou!

  • Stealing this!

    • Steal away, Melanie! When I was in Yoga teacher training and someone had a good idea, we’d say, “I’m going to share that from you.” 😀

  • That is lovely ❤️!

    • Thank you, Elizabeth!

  • Love this idea. Our church has been hanging small sewn hearts in conspicuous places with a note saying I need a home.

    • What a wonderful reminder to be kind, Jacque!

  • Suzan, attaching hearts with the notes on the gifts cards are inspirational. My thanks to you for sharing !

    • My pleasure, Benita! My secret plan was to inspire more people to get the gift of giving these… I think it’s working! 😀

  • ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️

    • A hundred hearts back, Anne!

  • This is beautiful. I feel very vulnerable and the heart pattern would be a treat. I just completed an Emotional Support Chicken (R). A heart fits in my pocket. Ursula

    • I absolutely love the idea of an emotional support chicken, Ursula—I think I just found my next project. Thank you for sharing this!

  • Thank you. For the “project” itself, and even more, by writing about it. I feel inspired, and incredibly grateful for people like you in our world.

    • I am so grateful for you, Wendy. Thank you for the kind words. They mean a lot.

  • Love this! I’ve noticed, over and over again, that most often it’s the little things that have the deepest meaning.

    • These small actions can have such big impact, Melody, on both the recipients and the makers. It helps us all!

  • Oh my goodness!! Just last week I was searching for, and found, a crochet heart pattern to use when I teach a friend to crochet. I thought little hearts would be something she could use for practice. Your idea is wonderful!! Such a beautiful way to give encouragement and remind others that everyone is beautiful and meaningful in their own way. Thank you for the inspiration!! I think my friend and I will be making bunches of hearts this year. I’m thinking about making them as tags on gifts…birthday, Christmas, whatever. Yay!!! ❤️

    • How serendipitous, Elaine! Teach as many people as you can to make and give out these hearts. Especially children. They are needed!

  • Wonderful idea!! Thank you!!

    • Thank you for the kind words, Linda!

  • I must have needed to read this at this moment because this just lifted my heart and mind in so many ways. Thank you for this. What a beautiful gesture to do for someone, and for ourselves.

    Thank you

    • Thank you, Caroline. Your words went right to my heart.

  • What a beautiful, thoughtful way to present a gift. Thank you!

    • Thank you, Karin! Have fun handing out the gift of kindness!

  • I love this idea. I work in a hospital and am going to pass the kindness along too.

    • Oh, Jodi, what a perfect environment for these hearts. When my mother was in the hospital, a smile could save me. Think of what these little hearts could do for people at their most vulnerable. You’ll be their angel!

  • Love these. Cute and simple!

  • Fantastic sharing of the Light!

  • Thank you for sharing this beautiful idea!!!

  • Love this idea❤

  • Is there a pattern or video to follow? Do you knit or crochet the heart?

  • This warmed my heart and brought tears to my eyes for its beauty.
    Thank you

  • I love this SO much! Thank you! I’m going to make some of these to give to the people I meet on my travels. You are so inspiring! Thank you, Suzan.

  • Beautiful idea and presentation.

  • What an inspiring story! I love this idea and am going to start my own kindness hearts to share. We need more kindness, especially now!!!! Thank you Thank you Thank you!!!

  • I love everything about this – thank you so much for sharing the story, and the hearts 🙂

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