Valentine’s Day Hearts

I have begun copying my old punch cards and mylar sheet patterns into digital format to use with my new SilverKnit box. My EC-1 reader is dying, and it just seemed like time to go to a newer technology. There are more than 40 years worth of punchcards and mylar sheets. A lot of those are old fairisle patterns. I think it’s time to share some of these. Since it’s nearly Valentine’s Day, hearts seem particularly appropriate. This group works very well as a hat design; use it with any hat pattern you already have. Break the stitch pattern into separate bands and use them on baby or doll sweaters. The individual bands also work well for a small trim at the bottom of sleeves, hem edges, and the button/neckbands of ladies sweaters.

These samples were made on a standard gauge knitting machine. As you can see from the grouping at the left, all were knitted using the same 24-stitch punchcard. But there are a couple of subtle differences. Most keep the same background color throughout. But I did change the background colors a couple of times.

In the sample on the right, this was done in the blue “toothed” stripes with a white background behind the hearts. Note that there is one row of blue in the left sample, and green in the right sample. In the punchcard, there is no line. You must decide for yourself whether you want the single contrast row on the outside of the every-other-stitch “teeth” or inside them. Just change colors in feeder 1 (the main color) and allow the pattern to advance normally; these one-row stripes are worked in the blank area of the card. After you knit this stripe, change to desired main color and continue to knit.

closeup of hearts
hearts chart

The chart shown is for a 24-stitch punchcard, but it is actually a 12-stitch repeat. This makes it suitable for any machine. Basic “hobby” knitters, such as Studio/Singer/Silver Reed LK 150 can knit this, using the Fairisle technique; all punchcard machines, including Studio 155, can copy and punch the design onto a punchcard, and electronic machine owners can input it, using the method appropriate for their model.


Here are a couple more heart charts to share. I don’t have a knitted sample to go with them, but I’m sure you can come up with a good one. And do you see the upside down heart in the “negative space”? I thought that was a fun touch.

hearts 2

If you are concerned about long floats between the hearts, or don’t know how to deal with them, this is an alternative.

Hearts are a popular design for girls and babies, and appropriate any time of the year. I hope you find these useful.


Return to Tips and Techniques Index