Some time ago, I posted a tutorial on creating a knitted pattern. It was a quick and easy tutorial. This time, I'm teaching you a slightly more realistic looking pattern with decorations! It will look a lot like the Christmas sweaters that you used to wear growing up.
Today we will use the
Transparency panel, Transform effect, and the Clipping Mask. To create a
stitch, we will use the Warp Effect.
What You'll Need
1. How to Create the Stitch
After opening your Adobe Illustrator, create a new document 850 x 850 px Width and Height.
will start by drawing the main shape of the knitted pattern. Using the
Ellipse Tool (L), draw an ellipse. Delete the stroke color and set the
fill color presented in the image below. Let’s warp this ellipse by
using the Flag effect. Go to Effect > Warp > Flag. Enter the
options you see below and watch the result.
Since we’ve created the irregular shape, we are going to expand it. Select the irregular ellipse and go to: Object > Expand Appearance. Now, create a copy of this shape in front of the original one (Control-C, Control-F) and make it smaller.
On the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance), you have to click on the word “Opacity” and in the pop-up menu, select Screen and decrease its opacity to 75%. As a result, you’ll get a light blue shape inside the dark blue shape.
I strongly recommend lowering the opacity over changing the color with RGB numbers.
Using the Ellipse Tool (L), draw a thin horizontal ellipse. Select this ellipse, and using the Convert Anchor Point Tool (Shift-C), make the right and left anchor points sharp by clicking on them. Holding the Shift and Alt keys, move the ellipse down to get another copy of it. Press Control-D twice and you’ll get two more copies of this ellipse below, at the same distance as between the first and the second. Slightly stretch out the second and the third shape, the ones in the middle.
Now select all four shapes and group them (right-click > Group). Then apply the Flag effect to this group of shapes. Go to Effect > Warp > Flag and apply the options in the image below. Don't forget to expand the final group of shapes: keeping these shapes selected, go to Object > Expand Appearance. Finally, on the Appearance panel (Window > Appearance), make its Opacity multiply 60%.
Let’s place them on the two shapes that we created in the beginning. That's one half of the stitch.
create the other half—literally! It will be a mirror reflection of the
existing image. While keeping the object selected, right-click your
mouse and select Transform > Reflect. Once you get the dialogue box,
select Axis Vertical, Angle 90 degrees, and press Copy. Move the other
part to the right. Our stitch is done.
2. How to Create the Knitted Pattern
the whole stitch (those two halves we created in the previous step) and
place it in the left bottom corner of your artboard. The smaller the
single stitch, the more stitches you’ll need to complete the pattern. I
prefer smaller stitches, but a small warning: it will increase your
file size, which can slow down your computer during the drawing process.
By making a set of copies of the single stitch element, we will make a knitted pattern.
the stitch selected, go to Effect > Distort & Transform >
Transform. Enter the options presented below. Not all your options will be
the same as mine since it will depend on the size of your stitch. In the
Move Vertical section, you need to shift the slider to the left to fill
up your artboard vertically. In my case, it's -13 px. Do not forget to
enter the number of copies. In my case, I have 91 of them. As a result,
you will get a vertical line of stitches.
To fill up
the artboard horizontally, select your stitch again (you are able to
select just the one placed in the bottom left corner of the artboard; the others are just copies). Go to Effect > Distort & Transform >
Transform and enter the options presented in the second image. Remember, not
all of the options will be the same. In the Move Horizontal section,
you need to shift the slider to the right. Now make as many copies as
the background. Make a large 850 x 850 px dark blue square: select the
Rectangle Tool (M) and click on the screen. On the window that appears,
enter the height and width and hit OK.
Place this square behind the knitted pattern (Control-X, Control-B).
3. How to Apply the Snowflake Shape to the Knitted Pattern
you like the result, expand all the stitches you created, and then make sure
that they are all grouped (simply click on one stitch and all of them need to be selected). Create a copy of the set of stitches in
front (Control-C, Control-F) and change the fill color to R=245, G=246,
Place your downloaded vector image in the middle of the artboard. Make sure that the snowflake shape is a single solid shape (you can check by clicking on it; you will see the image as a set of different shapes or as a single solid shape). To make it into one piece (if it still isn't), select the whole snowflake and unite all details by pressing the Unite button on the Pathfinder panel (Window > Pathfinder).
you like how everything looks, select the white stitches along with the
snowflake and hit Make Mask on the Transparency panel. I
recommend using this button, not Object > Clipping Mask >
Make. When using the Clipping Mask, your computer may lag. On the other
hand, when using the Make Mask command, the file is more
manageable for the computer.
Admire your result!
Look what you’ve achieved after all the great work! I hope you stay warm this winter, drink a lot of hot chocolate, and practice your drawing skills! Happy Holidays!