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  1. Design & Illustration
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How to Create a Knitted Pattern in Adobe Illustrator

Final product image
What You'll Be Creating

In this tutorial, you will discover how easy it is to create a pattern with a knitted effect using just two basic shapes: the rectangle and the ellipse. This pattern is seamless, so you can use it as a background or wallpaper in your future projects. At the end of the process, I will show you a simple way to recolor the artwork.

Check out other knitted patterns to enlighten your inner inspiration! Knitting is very traditional, looks cozy and reminds us of warm sweaters, hats, and scarfs. You can find a lot of patterns at Envato Market

1. Create a Vector Pattern

Step 1

After opening your Adobe Illustrator and creating a New document 600 x 600 px Width and Height, we will start by drawing the background. Select the Rectangle Tool (M) and draw a dark blue square with 600 px Width and 600 px Height.

creating the background

Step 2

Take the Ellipse Tool (L) and create a tiny blue ellipse. Tilt it slightly to the left. Keeping the ellipse selected, take the Reflect Tool (O); as you’re holding down the Alt key, click on the right side of it. In the new dialogue window, select Vertical, Angle 90 degrees and press Copy. You will get a reflected copy of your ellipse. Those are knitted loops.

options of the Reflect dialogue window
creating the knitted loop

Step 3

Take the Rectangle Tool (M) and create a square. As later we want to move the knitted loop a particular number of pixels, we need to create this square with a particular size of its sides. In the new dialogue window, enter 20 px for the Width and the Height. Delete the fill color and set the stroke to any color. 

Place the knitted loop inside this square. Heads Up! Do not change the size of the square—make the ellipses smaller or bigger so that they fit into the square.

placing the knitted loop in the square

Step 4

Open the Align panel (Window > Align) and check Align to Artboard.

Aligning to Artboard

First, align the background to the art board by pressing the Horizontal Align Left and Vertical Align Top buttons.

Place the small square with the knitted loop in the top left corner of the background by pressing the same buttons on the Align panel.

placing the knitted loop in the corner of the background

Step 5

Select the small square and the knitted loops, group them (right-click > Group) and then press the Enter button. We want to move these objects to the right, but we want to be particular about the number of pixels (the same number of pixels as the square side). So when the new dialogue window pops up, enter the following options and then press Copy.

options of the Move window

Keep pressing Control-D to repeat your last movement until you fill in the whole width of the background.

moving the knitted loop horizontally

Step 6

Group the first line that you just created, without the background, and then press the Enter key. Enter the following options, and then press Copy.

options of the Move dialogue window

Keep pressing Control-D until you fill in the whole height of the background.

moving the knitted loops vertically

Step 7

Ungroup everything (right-click > Ungroup). Select the small square which we created with no fill and with a stroke color, and then go to Select > Same > Fill color—this will help you select all the small squares. Now, delete all the small squares by pressing the Delete key.

deleting the help square

Step 8

Time to make this into our pattern! Select the entire pattern using the Selection Tool (V). Drag and drop it in the Swatches panel (Window > Swatches).

Now, let’s see how we can change the colors of the pattern. This will be pretty quick too!

Create a few squares (no stroke color and any fill color) using the Rectangle Tool (M). Apply the knitted pattern that you just created from the Swatches panel to each of these squares.

Select the first square with the knitted pattern and go to Edit > Edit Colors > Recolor Artwork. In the new dialogue window, press the Edit button, and then press the tiny button that looks like a chain, Link harmony colors (located at the bottom right), and then simply drag the color handles to your choice of color. Enjoy how the color is changing on your pattern!

options of the Recolor Artwork dialogue window
recolored knitted patterns


Awesome work! I'm sure you’ve successfully made a bunch of adorable knitted patterns yourself as well. I hope you have enjoyed this tutorial as much as I did making it. Can't wait to see your creative results!

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