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How to Draw Crochet Symbols Using Adobe Illustrator

How to Draw Crochet Symbols

Everyone who draws crochet diagrams approaches them somewhat differently.  In this post I share details with you about how I draw crochet symbols using Adobe Illustrator, and invite you to watch a video so you can work along with me.

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Adobe Illustrator

logo for Adobe Illustrator

Adobe Illustrator is the industry standard when it comes to vector-based drawing. It is a powerful program, but it can be hard to learn because of its many features.

How to Draw Basic Symbols

One of the questions that I get asked most often is how to draw symbols. I’ve recorded a video (below) that shows how I do it. You can follow along with your version of Illustrator, and pause the video as needed to keep up with me. Note that I use US terminology throughout. The symbols indicate the same stitch, but if you are in the UK you’ll notice that what I call a “single crochet” you call a “double crochet”.

Size Specifications

I find that starting with specific standards sizes helps me when I start to build my diagrams. The preferences and sizes that I used for the symbols are:

Keyboard increment .01″
General units Inches
1 pt black stroke, no fill
Ch dimensions .09″ wide x .03″ high
Sc dimensions .07″ wide x .09″ high
Hdc dimensions .09″ wide x .2″ high
Dc dimensions .09″ wide x .3″ high, hash .04″ wide
Tr dimensions .09″ wide x .4″ high, has .04″ wide

Symbols are Just the Beginning

Being able to draw the symbols is the easiest part of the process. Having a library of custom-made symbols is a good start, but you’ll need to understand how to use them and adapt them for each situation. That’s a much more complex topic. My method is a part of an ever-evolving process; as I learn more about the features of Illustrator and shortcuts that I can use to be more efficient.

If you are interested in learning more about drawing crochet charts, contact Edie for more information and to set up a customized tutorial to take you to the next level of crochet chart creation.

If you are already drawing charts successfully, please comment below; I’d love to have an exchange of ideas so we can learn from each other.

Read: In Search of Crochet Charting Software, Part 1

In Search of Crochet Charting Software, Part 2

Want to see how Edie can help you create your own custom crochet charts? Complete this questionnaire.

2 thoughts on “How to Draw Crochet Symbols Using Adobe Illustrator”

  1. Hi Edie!
    What a lovely video! From my experience – I like to add round caps and corners to my symbols (Stroke > Cap and Stroke > Corner). It looks pretty nice with all round symbols (ch, picot, puff st, etc.)

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