Illustrator help (knitting grid)

Is it possible to define a non-square grid in Illustrator? I want to print knitting designs, and a knit stitch is roughly 1x * 1.3x (v * h). For example, the yarn I’m designing for has 5.64 stitches per horizontal inch and 7.38 stitches per vertical inch.

I want to lay a background grid of the same dimensions down on an Illustrator document so I can design 1:1.

(Laying down lines in such a grid makes a HUGE document; not the solution I’m looking for).

Any suggestions? Anyone know of any other applications that would allow this?

I’m not sure that will do what you want- there’s no way I’m aware of to print the background grid in Illustrator, even if you get the dimensions right, which I don’t believe is possible. Check adobe’s site, they have message boards for this kind of thing. I’m also not familiar with the intricacies of designing for knitting patterns- could you link to a sample, perhaps?

Just some suggestions, because it’s an interesting question:

You could set up this grid in Excel pretty simply by defining row and column widths- and then print it or fill in cells with representations of the colors you want. This doesn’t let you draw with vector tools, of course. If you are set on that idea, you could view the Excel document at 100% and take a screenshot of it, and save that as a very low-quality gif or jpg, and export it to the illustrator file and use it as a guide (this obviously wouldn’t allow for snapping, but it would solve your file-size problem, and you could print the guides and the art)

Good luck, and I hope someone else comes along who can help more.

Thanks, stoli. No, of course I can’t print a background grid in Illo, so it was the wrong approach from the get go. Now I’m experimenting with patterns–creating a 1" square of the proper dimensions and using it as a pattern fill–but I’m having trouble controlling the edge of the pattern tile when working with lines: I want the first line of one tile to overlap with the last line of the previous, but I can’t make that happen. The work continues.

Good idea! That works perfectly- with a slight change- you don’t need to make the pattern out of multiple squares. A pattern can be made from any rectangular shape.

Create a rectangle of .177 W x .135 H and with a thin black or grey stroke (weight .25 or so), define it as a pattern and apply that pattern to a large rectangle. This should solve your overlap problem and also give you an even line weight. It won’t really look like it from 100% but if you zoom in you’ll see that it’s perfect. The measurements will be off by a few thousandths of an inch but I’m guessing yarn is not a medium requiring stringent tolerances.

Thing is, it doesn’t save you appreciably on space: I get about 122 K on disk for a full 8.5 x 11 page, about the same as (if not more than) a grayscale bitmap of the same size and complexity. That seems like a reasonable starting file size in any event, especially considering a blank illustrator file at my settings is about 80 K.

If you want I can email you the file. Can you tell I’m bored? I love this stuff.

I tried that and wound up with a 180K file (with version 8), so I did a Save As with other versions. As Version 7, it’s 100K, and as version 6 it’s 19K. If all Lissener wants to do is print out that grid, version 6 should work.

Not that I’m not appreciative of your efforts, but I already tried that. I’m hoping to find a more, well, elegant solution. Ideally, I’d like a grid of dots, not lines, with heavier dots every inch and half inch so I can measure with a glance and not have to count with a pencil.

I got as far as creating a dashed line with the dashes at zero length, and with specified distance between, then reproduced that line with the other dimension as a spacer, giving me the right dot grid. I make a square inch of this and define it as a pattern, but the lines abut rather than overlap. Any way to convert the line to a non-vector, and split it down the middle? I may have to fire up the PhotoShop . . .

Well, not exactly the elegant solution with dots that you wanted, but I came up with a way for you to have little crosses instead of a line grid.

One-click a new rectangle and enter in 1.773w x 1.355h. Scale the object to 10%. I did this because the rectangle fields don’t accept more than 3 decimal places. Give the stroke a .25 line width and a gray color. No fill.

Select the little rectangle and go to Transform/Scale. Select non-uniform, 100% width, 50% height, and Copy. Give the new rectangle white fill and stroke. It will be centered over the original. Select the original rectangle again and give it 50% width, 100% height, Copy, and white fill and stroke. Then group the rectangles together and drag the group to the Swatch Pallete.

When you fill your page-sized rectangle with the new swatch, you’ll have lots of little crosses.

You could make a new swatch with 1.5" squares as the fill and make a new page-sized rectangle with that fill to get your markers. But, you’d have to position it accordingly as the fill originates from the middle of the object rather than the lower left corner.

Hope that wasn’t too confusing. :slight_smile:

I know you said you wanted it specifically for knitting patterns, but, the ladies at this message board will either be able to help you outright, or point you in the right direction:

Hop to the “Take A Break” board and post your question there. Hope this is of some use.

try on for size. It’s only 6k, and it has a dot pattern instead of lines. Based on your description, I wasn’t sure if you wanted the dots in the horizontal direction spaced at 1 inch and .5 inches, or at 1.3 inches and half of 1.3 inches, but this will give you an idea what to do.

To see how the pattern is made, open up the swatches palette and drag the “New Pattern 1” swatch onto the artboard. You can see that it’s an invisible rectangle with 8 dots around the edges. The key is the invisible rectangle. Note that the edges of the dots hang over the edges of the rectangle, but the pattern tile does not include the extra parts that are hanging off the edge. When you create a pattern, Illustrator will assume the pattern tile should be the size of the artwork you use to create it unless the rearmost object selected is a rectangle with no fill and no stroke, in which case it will use that rectangle as the boundary of the pattern tile. Anything hanging over the edge is chopped off. This gives you great control over the tiling, as you’ve been wishing for.

You can use this technique to make less obvious non-square patterns, such as a hex grid:

I think you’ve got something.

What I wanted was a grid that showed 7.38 vertical and 5.64 horizontal stitches in a square inch (6x8 would work perfectly well, too). So something a lot denser than your example, but using your suggestions I’ll see what I can come up with.