How to Design a Knit Pattern in Adobe Illustrator

Today I am excited to present you a “knit pattern maker”, an action to streamline the production of the awesome vector knit patterns in Adobe Illustrator.

With this action, you can easily design a custom knit artwork in seven simple steps. In today’s tutorial, I will explain to you how to leverage the full potential of the actions for knit designs.

Step 1. Download the Action

Get the Knit Pattern Maker action for Adobe Illustrator or download the free version Knit Pattern Lite action.

Unzip the folders with graphic style and action, save them on your desktop.

With a Pro version, you will also get the patterns, compatible with Adobe CS5 and later, so you can jump straight to drawing.

Step 2. Install the Action and the Graphic Style

Lunch your copy of Adobe Illustrator and bring up two panels:

  • The Action Panel by going to the Windows/Actions
Action Panel
  • The Graphic Styles panel by going to the Windows/Graphic Styles

Follow the video instruction to install the action and graphic style.

  • Place the action’s file (Knitted Pro.aia) into the Adobe Illustrator’s default folder for actions:
    • Windows:Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CC\Presets\en_US\Actions
    • MacOs:Applications\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CC\Presets\en_US\ Actions
  • Place the graphic style’s file (Knitted-Style.ai) into the Adobe Illustrator’s default folder for graphic styles:
    • Windows: Program Files\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CC\Presets\en_US\Graphic Styles
    • MacOs:Applications\Adobe\Adobe Illustrator CC\Presets\en_US\Graphic Styles

Step 3. Load the Action

In order to run the action, you should load it. Head over to the menu on the top-right of the Action Panel and select the Load Actions…

LOad action in adobe illustrator

Pick the file up and click open.

To load the graphic style head over to the Library icon on the bottom left of the panel. Select the name of the file.

Load Graphic Styles

It will bring up a separate panel with the graphic styles.

Click on each of the icons to load the knit graphic styles on board the default Graphic Styles panel.

The last move helps the action to recognize the graphic styles inside its sequence and execute them.

Step 4. Run the Action

Easiest step that requires the following:

  • Open the Action folder

Select the action based on the size of the knit pattern you want to deploy

  • Click the Play button to execute the action.

This action creates the 16x4px knit pattern.

Step 5. Draw an Artwork

Start drawing artwork by selecting particles with the Lasso Tool (Q) or the Live Paint Bucket (K). Watch the video to see the process.

knit pattern maker

Please note: Select the grid (Ctrl/Cmd + A) before using the Live Paint Bucket. Adobe Illustrator may warn you with the message about the complexity of the artwork you are dealing with. Click continue to convert it to the Live Paint object.

Step 6. Add Realistic Effect

As you can see, the Pattern Action is paired with the Effect Action of the same size.

pattern actions and effect actions

The Effect Action adds the highlight to make the knit artwork more realistic. You need to run it after you are done with the drawing step.

Step 7. Finish the Knit Pattern

Everything looks good, but no base color. Create a rectangle with the size of the pattern and put it underneath. Bring up a color picker and set the Fill color.

the background

Thanks for following to the end of the tutorial. I hope you’ve enjoyed the knit action and find them helpful. Feel free to share the tutorial with your frinds and leave let me know what do you think about the matter.

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