Punching your own Studio/Silver Reed punchcard

by Roni Knutson

1. Use a pencil to transfer the design to the card rather than a pen, it'll be less messy in the end. Use the darker separation lines on the card as guides. A dark piece of paper or dark tablecloth can be handy - lay your card on it to see clearly what you have punched. Remember to check the direction (if it matters) - A, B, C or D on the card.

2. Row 1 is Row 1 except when you are punching the card! Start punching at the very bottom of the card - just above the two rows of joining holes. Do not start your design on the row marked "1". The mechanics of the card reader are such that to read row 1 the card must be 6 rows down in the card slot. When you are knitting, if Row 1 marked on the card is level with the top of the card reader, your card is in the correct starting position.

3 When punching make sure the little pin from the handy punch goes in the centre of each square - there is a little hole to guide you. Any square with a hole that is not centered will not knit the pattern correctly.

4. If you make a mistake, use scotch tape (on both sides) and a little circle punched from the card to refill the error. Then repunch.

5. If you are making a card that will repeat vertically, it must be made to overlap. When you have finished punching your design you must punch two complete rows and then using another card as a guide to trim your card to match or it will jam in the card slot. Proof it out before you knit your garment with it.

6. If the design is longer than one card, join together with the plastic joiners (front over back). If it's shorter, try and join it. If it's too short you may have to punch another repeat of the pattern in order to close it.

7. Mark the colour changes right on the card with the card in the card reader. Start the card at the beginning (lock and unlock the card until you find the first row - the pattern will show on the touch levers that stick out from the card reader) You want the first one after a row with nothing on it at the bottom of the card. Use the punchcard feeding dial to rotate the card, one row at a time, just count the row according to your pattern and mark. Or if you are proofing the card, knit it as instructed and mark the card then checking carefully for mistakes.

Placement of punchcard design

1. You will notice that your knitting machine needle bed has marking on it that correspond to your card reader. The 24 stitch punchcard pattern repeats itself across the needle bed with the '0' at the centre of the needles being exactly at the centre of a 24 St. repeat.

2. Figure out how many stitches will be needed for the front or back of your sweater.

3. Divide the number of stitches for the front of the garment by 24 to see if you can get complete repeats of the pattern or if the seam line will "cut" a pattern in two. Consider if moving the knitting over 12 needles will give you complete patterns. Don't forget that you need 1 extra stitch at each side of the work for sewing up.

4. Consider now where the design will fall at the neckline and on the shoulders. Get the calculator out and divide the total rows to the neckline by the number of rows in the pattern. Do the same to the top of the shoulders. Shorten or lengthen the sweater a few rows (if possible) to make a good design. Check out the sleeves too.

Copyright©rvk Feb. 1999