Design Challenge Day 2: Christmas Jumper Pattern in Illustrator

It's Day 2 of my May Design Challenge and despite the fact that it's springtime, I checked out a holiday-themed tutorial. I've always wanted to make a knit pattern in Illustrator, so today I used a festive tutorial from Spoon Graphics to make a Christmas jumper pattern. (They're in the UK, so I've resisted the urge to translate "jumper" to "sweater.")

I'll be honest, this was harder than I thought it would be! In fact, I started off using another non-Christmas-themed tutorial but it was so confusing that I had to give up and come back to this one. An important lesson: the quality of the presenter is as important as the content of the tutorial!

This tutorial involved creating small "stitches" with the ellipse tool, repeating across a grid, and then bringing down a new line of stitches just underneath the first row to mimic a knit pattern. Then using Command-D, the row is duplicated again and again. (This is one of my very favorite Illustrator shortcuts!) One thing I did that wasn't in the tutorial was group all the objects in my first row before I duplicated; since my original duplication was slightly off center, I was able to select all the rows and align them easily, then ungroup.

You might be able to tell by the fact that my pattern cuts off on one side that my math (or should I say maths?) was a bit wonky when creating the pattern. If you want the entire piece to look perfect, you might consider the number of stitches and rows. Of course, you select just a portion to create your pattern, so I suppose you really only need perfection in a specific area.

I hadn't previously worked with the Live Paint tool, so it was really fun to explore that today. If you check out this tutorial, I'd love to see your results!