HINTS AND TIPS FOR DRAWING YOUR OWN PUNCHCARD DESIGNS by Roni Knutson

This is for those of you who don't have a punchcard computer program!!

  1. Expect to spend a while on this.
  2. It's a good idea to photocopy the paper that comes with the punchcards so that you can sketch as much as you like and not have to worry about running out of paper. Make sure you are using the correct side. For standard machines it's the side that says "24 x 60".
  3. Use a pencil to sketch rather than a pen - have an eraser handy too, you'll need it.
  4. If you are not a natural artist search around for photos in magazines and books, cross-stitch patterns, computer programs etc.,to help you with your drawing.
  5. Do not start by filling in squares - draw your design over the squares freehand (don't worry if it looks a mess, keep refining it until it looks O.K., then start filling in the squares.
  6. Fill in squares before and after the area to be used in the punchcard to prove that your design is correct. (That's why there are squares around the 24 x 60 outline.)
  7. Then squint! This will help you to decide which squares should stay and which should be erased.
  8. If the design when knitted will have floats over 6 or more stitches consider if you need to add stitches to avoid these long floats or if they can be left. (They can be left if they are going to be enclosed in the final item such as my free toque pattern.)
  9. Punch your card and knit a sample. Try looking at it from across a room. Make changes if needed. If there are errors, and the card looks correct, make sure that the hole is punched in the centre of the square - use the little hole in the card as a guide.
  10. If there are errors, these can be fixed by putting scotch tape over the hole on both back and front (make sure you don't cover up any neighbouring holes). If you have a few mistakes to correct in one area, scotch tape the little holes back into place to give the card more stability.
  11. If the card needs to be continuous, punch an extra two rows of holes across the top of the design (this is assuming that it does not fit perfectly into the 60 rows of the card - you also may have to do two or more repeats of the design in order to be able to close the card) and cut the card off after these two rows of holes (take care not to cut too close to the line). Then lay an uncut card on top - match up the two rows of holes and transfer, with a pencil, the shape of the top of the card. Each side at the top will need to be trimmed and two extra holes (for the clips) will need to be punched at the top sides as well.

Copyright©rvk Feb. 1999

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