This fun tutorial will teach you how to create a seamless vector knitted fair isle pattern using Illustrator. This quick and easy technique can also be used to create your own custom patterns.

Step 1

Start by launching Illustrator and creating a new 800 x 600 pixel document.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 2

Use the Ellipse Tool to draw an oval shape 30 pixels wide and 86 pixels tall.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 3

Rotate the oval shape by 30°.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 4

Duplicate the oval shape and Flip Horizontal, then place the second oval shape to create an arrow-like shape with the original.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 5

Select both oval shapes and use the Pathfinder window to combine them with the Unite function.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 6

Resize the shape so that it is 6 pixels wide and 6 pixels tall (it will be very small, so zoom in).
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 7

Highlight the shape and then press Enter/Return to open the Move dialog. Enter 6 px Horizontal and 0 px Vertical then choose Copy.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 8

Press CMD+D (Mac) or CTRL+D (Windows) to Transform Again and create another copy. Repeat this step 16 times so that you have a total of 18 shapes in a horizontal line.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 9

Select all of the horizontal line and hit Enter/Return to open the Move dialog again. Enter 0 px Horizontal and 6 px Vertical then choose Copy.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 10

Press CMD+D (Mac) or CTRL+D (Windows) to Transform Again and create another copy. Repeat this step 17 times so that you have a total of 19 rows.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 11

Select the first shape 10 rows down and fill it with black (#000000).
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 12

Using the first black shape as a reference point, hold down shift and select the shapes shown in the screenshot below and fill with black.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 13

Select the shapes shown in the screenshot below and fill with black.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 14

Leave a column for spacing and then select the shapes shown in the screenshot below and fill with black, they are an exact mirror of the previous two sections.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 15

Leave a row for spacing and then select the shapes shown in the screenshot below and fill with black, again they are an exact mirror of the previous sections.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 16

On the right hand side, select the shapes shown below and fill them with black.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 17

Select the shape that is 1 column in and 1 row down, and then hold down shift and select every other shape in a horizontal line until you reach the other side. Fill with black.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 18

Repeat the last step at on the row that is 1 from the bottom.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 19

Now lets add some color, select one of the light gray shapes and click ‘Select Similar Objects’ to highlight all of the gray shapes.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 20

Change the fill color to a dark brown (#5F4747).
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 21

Select one of the black shapes and click ‘Select Similar Objects’ to highlight all of the black shapes.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 22

Change the fill color to yellow (#E0CC54).
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 23

The pattern should now look like this:
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 24

Select all of the shapes and drag them into the Swatches panel to create a new repeating Pattern Swatch.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 25

Draw a large rectangle that fills the entire artboard and set the fill to your new pattern swatch.
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Step 26

To make the pattern look a little better we can add a dark background, duplicate the rectangle in place and set the fill color of the bottom rectangle to dark gray (#333333).
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Result & Conclusion

Here is the final result of our seamless fair isle pattern. I hope you have enjoyed following the tutorial, this technique can be used to create different types of knitted patterns and is very fun to experiment with. To reset and start again, just select all of the shapes and set the fill back to light gray. Have fun!
how to create a winter knitted pattern

Download Seamless Fair Isle Vector Patterns

download seamless vector knitted fair isle patterns
This pack includes 10 perfectly seamless knitted vector patterns for Illustrator inspired by Fair Isle knitwear. They are scalable and can be edited in Illustrator CS6+, also included are 10 high resolution JPG files ready for production use, measuring 600 x 600 mm at 300DPI.

Download

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