How to bind off and weave in (6)

When you are done with your project (knitted the scarf of desired length, finished a baby blanket, etc) you need to put the finishing touches on your creation. Binding off is the process of closing off your stitches by creating an edge. Over hundreds of years knitters have come up with numerous techniques to finish their projects and create a smooth and elastic edge. You need to secure your stitches and remove all of them from the needles so the ends can be weaved in and you’ll be done.

Now that you know how to knit faster, we’ll teach you to bind off faster. There are not very many tutorials that teach it using this particular technique but it is very simple to understand and remember for beginners. If you know how to do a knit stitch, you can bind off using this technique.

Let’s get started. Insert your right (empty) needle through the first 2 stitches on your left needle and pull the yarn through both stitches (knit them together). Put the newly-formed stitch back on your left needle and repeat the same step for the next 2 stitches. The stitch that you knit should be slightly bigger than usual so you would have a loose stretchy edge. One of the most common mistakes is to bind off too tightly. Check your knitting: you can see a beautiful chain that is forming along the edge while you are closing your stitches.

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Continue with the same technique until all your stitches are taken off the left needle and are closed. For the last stitch, cut your thread leaving a tail about 12 inches long and pull it through, tying the knot.

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Your project is done. All you have to do is weave in your ends (yarn tails) at the beginning and the end of your project. Weaving in the ends is sawing them in your yarn fabric using tapestry needle hiding them to make them invisible. You can weave them in your edge them come up along the pattern, following your yarn as it makes it way through your knitting pattern. Make a zig zag and when you have weaved in most of your tail length, just cut it off close to the fabric but without damaging your knitting. Purl bumps are a great place to hide your tails and particular weaving in techniques depend on your knitting stitch patterns.

The more you practice, better you’ll become in the magic art of hiding your yarn tails.

How to knit an infinity scarf using fisherman rib (5)

When you are done with mastering casting on stitches and learning basic knit stitch, it is time to learn a very simple but beautiful rib pattern. In this tutorial we explain how to knit for beginners step-by-step an easy pattern that uses only knit and slip stitches. It is a very fast and stretchy rib so it can be used for a variety of easy knitting projects such as scarves including infinity scarves, hats, and head bands. The best practice is repetition, so we suggest creating something warm and useful that you can wear during cold winter months or give as a gift to your family, while you practice this easy pattern.

This timeless pattern is also known as brioche rib, textured rib, English rib, or fisherman rib (though some tutorials would teach fisherman rib differently – but you end up with the same result!). It makes it an ideal pattern for scarves or infinity scarves as it is stretchy and looks the same on both sides, so it is reversible.

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Let’s get started. We are going to teach you how to knit faster: the yarn is controlled by your left hand, the working needle is in your right hand. There is no wrapping of yarn around the needle with your right hand (as in English/American style) so it makes it very speedy, super-simple, and easy to learn for beginner knitters. As an added benefit, it is much easier on your wrists in the long run and won’t strain your joints. When you learn basic stitch techniques, they will stay in your memory, so it is easy to pick up where you left off several days, years (or decades) later.

Start with casting on even number of stitches very loosely (14-16 for a bulky scarf, depending on your yarn type and size of needles). After you knit 10-20 rows of your pattern, you can always decide if this is the right width and reduce or increase the number of stitches to cast on. The wider is your scarf, the more yarn your project will require for the same length. For detailed instructions on how to cast on stitches, please refer to our tutorial and video addressing cast-on techniques.

Hold the needle with your cast-on stitches in your left hand and your working needle in your right hand (it is empty). Yarn is wrapped around your index finger and you are gently controlling it with 3 fingers of your left hand to create some slight tension. The first stitch is an edge stitch which you simply slip – it makes a beautiful and neat chain stitch on the edge of your project. We know, many other tutorials teach you to KNIT the first stitch – we disagree with this practice. So, learn the way your grandma always did it for hundreds of years before us – slip the 1st edge stitch!

1st row (set row for the pattern):
K1: Insert point of the right needle in the loop of second stitch, draw yarn through the loop with right needle point and then simply push the left needle with your right index finger to slip the underlying stitch off the left needle.
YOSl: Then put the yarn over your needle and simply slip the next stitch (with yarn over it) off purlwise without knitting it through. It is the easiest stitch in knitting!

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2nd row (and the rest):  Sl ;
BK2tog: knit next stitch together with its paired yarnover – it is also called brioche knit 2 together, or ‘bark’
YOSl: put the yarn over your needle and simply slip the next stitch off purlwise, without knitting it
K1 the last stitch (edge)

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Turn your work over. Repeat 2nd row for the rest of the project until your scarf reaches the desired length.

Congratulations! That’s all it is – a very easy & fast knitting pattern. Here it is in a nut shell, so you would never get lost knitting fisherman rib pattern. If you see a purl stitch, put yarn over and slip it off. If you see a knit stitch with yarn over, simply knit it together. If you know how to do a knit stitch,  you can create this beautiful 3-D textured rib that looks great. Now you’ve learned the versatile rib pattern that you can use for a variety of easy and satisfying knitting projects. The versatility of this stitch is in the fact that it looks the same on both sides, making it the perfect stitch for two-sided simple knitting projects such is scarves, baby blankets, throws, etc. We’ve included an infinity scarf pattern below so you can master the knit stitch & slip stitch technique. Just a note: this rib pattern requires more yarn than your usual ribs, so overestimate the amount of yarn you would need so you don’t run out before you have a scar of desired length. You can always use leftovers for small dishcloth, doll scarf or knit a present for a furry friend.

Now you are ready to conquer other rib knitting patterns. For knitting help and tutorials refer to our website and Youtube channel.
Happy knitting!

Here is a free pattern:
Knitting Infinity Scarf Pattern

Materials:
(3-4 medium) Red Heart Classic Yarn: 290 yards (265 m) or any yarn of your choice
Knitting needles: 5.5 mm [US 9] (or bigger size for bulkier scarf)

Instructions:
Cast on 16 stitches.
Row 1: Slip 1st stitch, *K1; SLYO1*; (repeat* 7 times); K1
Row 2 and all remaining rows: Slip 1st stitch, *BK2tog; SLYO1* (repeat 7 times); K1 last stitch;

Repeat row 2 until your scarf reaches desired length.
Bind off. Weave in ends. Connect the ends of the scarf to make a loop.

Congratulations, enjoy!
Happy knitting!

How to do a purl stitch (4)

Now, when you are done with mastering knit stitch, it is time to learn another basic technique: purl stitch. It is used in many easy knitting projects suitable for beginners. When you knit with purl stitches, your garment has purl stitches on the right side and knit stitches on the wrong side (opposite side, sometimes called the left side). If you knit using only purl stitches on both sides, turning your knitting, you’ll end up with garter pattern. On this sample you can see the difference between wrong side of the stockinette stitch on the top (with all purl stitches showing) and garter stitch (on the bottom). With continental style knitting, purl stitch is done very quickly and easily.

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Let’s get started. In continental style, the yarn is controlled by your left hand and picked up by needle in your right hand. There is no wrapping of yarn around the needle with your right hand which makes this style speedy and easy to learn. There is an added benefit for your health: it is easy on your joints.

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Hold the needle with your knitting in your left hand and your working needle in your right hand (it is empty). Yarn is wrapped around your index finger and you gently hold it with three fingers of your left hand to create slight tension. The first stitch is a slip stitch which will make a beautiful chain for your edge. In some tutorials they teach you to knit/purl your first stitch but we disagree with this technique as you would end up with a bumpy edge instead of a neat braided chain. Based on the last stitch (whether it was a knit or purl stitch) the yarn will be in the back or front. Slip the first stitch, bring the yarn to the front and you are ready to start your purl stitches.

With your yarn on the top of your left needle, bring you yarn under the edge of the loop and insert the point of the right needle in front of the loop. Put the needle on the top of the yarn and pull it through the loop with the right needle point. When a new just-knitted purl stitch is on your right needle, push the left needle with your right index finger to slip the underlying stitch off. Check your work. Continue with the rest of the purl stitches until you get to the end of the row. Purl the last stitch. One of the most common mistakes beginners would make is knitting too tight (not making loops big enough), especially when practicing purl stitch. Check your knitting often to make sure that all the stitches as are the same height and can easily slide back and forth on the needle.

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This purl stitch technique is very easy and when you master it, you can knit with your eyes closed. If you continue just with the purl stitch, you’ll have garter stitch which creates a stretchy garment of alternating knit & purl rows.
Happy knitting!

Here is an added bonus:
Easy Knitted Scarf Pattern
(it is a great pattern to practice & master your purl stitches & create a unique Christmas gift for someone special)

Materials:
(4 medium) skeins of organic wool yarn: ~ 290 yards (265 m) or any yarn of your choice
Knitting needles: 5.5 mm [US 9] Yarn needle

Instructions:
Cast on 24 sts.
Row 1 (right side): Slip 1st stitch, purl 23. (sl 1, p 23)
Row 2 (wrong side) and all remaining rows: Slip 1st stitch, purl. (sl 1, p 23)

Continue in garter stitch (purl every row) until scarf measures ~ 65 inches, or desired length.
Bind off. Weave in ends.

How to do a knit stitch (3)

When you are done with mastering casting on stitches, it is time to learn two more knitting stitches: the knit & purl stitches. The first step will be learning the knit stitch. A lot of simple and easy knitting projects such as baby blankets, scarves, hats, ear-warmers, and headbands can be done using just the knit stitch. As you can see on our sample, the opposite side of the knit stitch is the purl stitch so if you are using just the knit stitch and knitting flat, your stitches will be alternating knit & purl stitches on both sides while creating a stretchy fabric, with horizontal ribbon-like texture.

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Let’s get started. We are going to teach you knit stitch continental style when the yarn is controlled by your left hand and picked up by the right needle. There is no wrapping of yarn around the needle with your right hand (as in English/American style) so it makes it very speedy and easy to learn. As an added benefit, it is better for your wrists in the long run and won’t strain your joints.

Hold the needle with your cast-on stitches in your left hand and your working needle in your right hand (it is empty). The yarn is wrapped around your index finger and you are gently controlling it with 3 fingers of your left hand to create some slight tension. The first stitch is a slip stitch which makes this beautiful chain stitch on the edge. When you knit a few rows, you’ll notice that because the last stitch was a knit stitch, the yarn is in the back, so when you turn it around, the yarn is now in the front. In order to slip this stitch, you would need to move the yarn to the back, slip the first stitch and then continue with knit stitches for this row.

Insert point of the right needle in the loop of the second stitch, draw yarn through the loop with right needle point and when a newly formed stitch is on your right needle, simply push the needle in your left hand with your right index finger to slip the underlying stitch off the left needle. Continue with the rest of the stitches until you get to the end of the row. One of the common mistakes for beginners is knitting too tight. Resist this temptation and check your knitting to make sure all stitches as the same height and can easily slide on the needle.

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The other common mistake is twisting your stitches. Check your work and make sure you grab the correct side of the loop to form your knit stitches. The position of the loop on the left needle depends on the stitches you did in a previous row. It varies for knit & purl stitches.

Congratulations! Now you learned 50% of simple knitting stitches (purl stitch is your next step).

If you continue just with the knit stitches knitting flat (meaning you turn your knitting from one side to the other, as opposed to knitting around in a circle with on circular needles) you’ll end up with a garter stitch which is one of the great knitting patterns for beginners.
What is a garter stitch?
This is a stitch that forms a flexible piece of knitting that won’t roll around the edges. It’s ideal for numerous beginner knitting projects, such as knitted scarf patterns, bags, hats, and blankets. Regardless of what you’re making, the garter stitch is a basic stitch all beginner knitters should master by using it in their first easy knitting projects. We’ve included a simple knitted scarf pattern below so you can master the knit stitch technique.

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Now you are ready for the next step – how to do a purl stitch. For knitting help and tutorials make sure to check our website: craft-mart.com
Happy knitting!

Here is an added bonus:
Knitting Scarf Pattern

Materials:
(4 medium) Red Heart Classic Yarn: 290 yards (265 m) or any yarn of your choice
Knitting needles: 5.5 mm [US 9] Yarn needle

Instructions:
Cast on 24 sts.
Row 1 (right side): Slip 1st stitch, Knit. (sl 1, k 23)
Row 2 and all remaining rows: Slip 1st stitch, Knit. (sl 1, k 23)

Continue in garter stitch (knit every row) until scarf measures ~ 65 inches, or desired length.
Bind off. Weave in ends.

Knitting for beginners: how to cast on stitches (2)

If you are a beginner knitter you should learn how to properly cast on stitches. Every project starts with this step so you should master it first and then move to one of the easy knitting projects for beginners, such as knitting a scarf. This crucial step will be explained as a foundation to one of the best European speed knitting techniques. If you’d like to learn how to knit faster with no stress on your wrists and fingers, this is a perfect lesson for you!

For this tutorial, you would need a ball of yarn and two needles.

Let’s learn how to start knitting a scarf!

The first step is casting a slip knot: leave about 1-foot long tail so you have enough yarn to cast on 14-20 stitches for your scarf, depending on the type of yarn. Usually, rib patterns are used for knitting a scarf so you would cast an even number of stitches: 12, 16, 18 or 20. I suggest using 2 needles (instead of one, as you often see on all other knitting tutorials) – that’s how grandma, a master knitter, taught me. The reason behind this knitting technique is that your edge will be nice and relaxed. Tight edges have a nasty habit of warping the desired shape of your project. Plus, it is much easier to start your first row, especially for beginners.

The slip knot (the first of cast on stitches) is different from the rest. To make a slip knot, lay down your yarn in a loop. The strand that is laying on top is your long tail strand. Then take that strand and place it under the loop. Take your needles, pick up that strand and pull it through. You have your slip knot. Tighten it up – you are ready to cast the rest of the knitting stitches.

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One strand is your working yarn (it is connected to your ball of yarn) and the other is your tail-end strand. Keep the tail end closest to you and your main yarn away from you when you line up yarn to start casting. Put your index & pointing fingers inside that ‘V’ shape formed by the yarn and grab the rest of the yarn with your other fingers. Hold the tail-end yarn by your left thumb and hold the working yarn by your left index finger. The rest of the fingers on your left hand are holding both strands together creating slight tension. Make sure that the palm of your let hand is facing you—not away from you. Now you are ready for the next step: casting the second stitch.

With your right hand, take your working needles with the slip knot down, pulling the thread in the middle, so that the thread is forming two loops around your fingers. First, grab the left thread along your thumb edge going in the direction from the bottom up, then move your needles to right, around and grab the thread that is going from your pointing finger. Pull it through the loop and let the fingers release the yarn so you can tie it up and align the stitch. Congratulations, you are done with the second stitch!

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After that it is the simple repetition of the same movements to cast on the rest of your stitches. Make sure they are all the same length and are not too tight on your needles. It will make your edge look nice and professional. Just to secure your cast on stitches, make a simple knot at the end when you are done casting on all the stitches (it is optional, but helps to keep your stitches from slipping off if you are a beginner.)

As beginners usually do, you may make a mistake or two on your 10th or 99th stitch. Simply unravel all the stitches until there are no ‘messed up’ stitches on your cast on needles and just continue where you left off.

Rookie knitters usually ask how to estimate the length of the long tail they would need for a larger size beginner knitting projects. Just wrap the yarn around your both needles as many times as the number of knitting stitches you need to cast on and mark that spot. That’s where you start with the slip knot stitch. It is better to have a longer tail (which you would later work into your knitting) than to ran out of yarn when you have only a few stitches left to go.

And if you make a mistake, just start over – practice makes it perfect. Soon casting off will be in your muscles’ memory and you wouldn’t need to even think about it. It will be time to learn a few simple knitting patterns that can be used for your first projects. To practice, watch our long tail cast on video tutorial – that’s long tail cast on knitting clear and simple.

And happy knitting!


 

Simple knitting projects might keep you healthy (1)

Simple knitting projects might keep you healthyHave you been looking for a new hobby to lighten up cozy, long winter nights? Easy knitting projects may be just the right answer for you. Maybe, you just became a grandma and would want to create a heirloom piece for a baby to cherish for many years? Look for easy baby blanket knitting pattern many of which are suited for beginners and be amazed how quickly you can create something unique for your beloved grandchildren. As it turns out, knitting can elevate your spirit and keep your brain healthy, as it has been proven by numerous science studies. Many crafters who picked up knitting needles for the first time or are trying to return to their roots and recall some cool knitting patterns taught by grandma, are amazed how quickly this age-long craft has become a vital part of their lives.

It has been long-recognized that activities that involve your hands and brain, such as knitting, crocheting, weaving, and quilting, have a therapeutic effect both on your body as well as emotional well-being. A study of 3,500 knitters worldwide has shown that 81.5 percent of respondents rated themselves as feeling better and happier after knitting. According to Dr. Alton Barron, knitting can prevent arthritis and tendinitis – two serious conditions that plague seniors and prevent retirees from enjoying their golden years. Together with his wife, Dr. Carrie Barron, a psychiatrist, Alton Barron authored a book “The Creativity Cure: Building Happiness With Your Own Two Hands.” Carrie, a skillful knitter herself, credits needlework for alleviating depression and anxiety, without pills and side effects.

And you don’t have to be a pro to experience these benefits – for beginners using basic easy knitting patterns can be as therapeutic as for advanced knitters working on a complicated project that requires advanced skills and deep knowledge of complex or unusual knitting patterns. The mathematical nature of knitting and rhythmic repetitive motions by your hands keep the brain 60 percent occupied with healthy meaningful activity. In a way, knitting is an escape from problems of every-day life when the brain may rest from stressful thoughts. “People basically have a vacation from their problems,” says clinical psychologist Ann Futterman-Collier who runs the “Well-Being Lab” at Northern Arizona University. He calls it “Textile Therapy” and points out to the numerous emotional benefits of knitting, as well as crocheting, weaving, and quilting. It is interesting that people who actually created something with their own hands experienced less of an inflammatory response when facing a stressor.

Knitting also proved to be beneficial for those who suffer from panic attacks and anxiety. Betsan Corkhill, a licensed physiotherapist, explains that by “using an awful lot of brain capacity to perform a coordinated series of movements, you curb anxiety attacks.” “The more capacity you take up by being involved in a complex task, the less capacity you have for bad thoughts,” explains Dr. Corkhill. A small study of patients with eating disorders found that taking knitting lessons had a positive effect on them as well. Keeping a mind occupied with creative activity reduced obsessive thoughts and behaviors. A study by the Occupation, Participation and Health Journal cited the benefits of needlecraft in blocking negative thoughts, calming effect of repetitive motions, and providing opportunities for socializing in knitting groups and creative circles of like-minded enthusiasts.

Knitting has been making a come-back in recent years. Pointing out craft’s palliative effects on the mind, knitting has been called the “new yoga” for good reason. Praised for its relaxing, meditative qualities, knitting has been successfully used in hospitals, clinics, schools, and even prisons to help people lead healthier and happier lives. Many beginner knitters who picked up the craft for therapy, have credited it for much more than just curbing anxiety. “Knitting saved my life,” says Liat Gat, who runs the video instruction site KNITFreedom.com. Admitted to a clinic with a life-threatening eating disorder, Gat, a lapsed knitter, picked up knitting again when a craft volunteer offered yarn and needles as part of therapy. Soon she had numerous advanced and simple knitting projects going and was giving other women lessons and helping beginners to fix mistakes in their knitting patterns. Within weeks of starting to knit again, she was out of the clinic and working at a yarn shop.

The recent study by Mayo Clinic professor of neurology and psychiatry Yonas Geda involved over a 1,300 seniors 15% of whom had a mild cognitive impairment which can later lead to dementia. The research has proven that those involved in crafting, knitting, playing games, and computer activities were 30-50% percent less likely to have a progressive cognitive impairment. The science behind this phenomenon was described by Dr. Geda as building “cognitive reserves and the ability to buffer and withstand lots of assault by bad chemicals” attacking our brains as we age. These studies point to the same conclusion as the research done on mice: animals living in rich and complex environments and being stimulated by toys and activities are less likely to develop dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

But why concentrate on knitting in particular if you are looking for something to relief stress and curb anxiety, as well as keep your brain young? There are many theories, some coming from renowned psychiatrists, brain specialists, and occupation therapists. Once a beginner knitter has mastered techniques (and there are only 4 basic stitches to learn), the rest is just repetition. And these repetitive knitting movements is what can put the body in that coveted elusive relaxation state when breathing slows, heart rate, and blood pressure fall, and levels of stress hormones drop. According to psychiatrist Teresa Anderson, knitting and crocheting can be beneficial for patients suffering from PTSD, anxiety, and major depression. Dr. Anderson points out: “People recommend meditation, which is nice in theory, but some people are so worked up they can’t sit still long enough to meditate.” She calls knitting “active meditation” – something you can focus on and perform with your hands while its repetitive quality provides stress relief.

Online community of knitters and crafters is an impressive force of 38-million passionate participants who exchange knitting patterns, post their best knitting projects on their blogs, offer their knitted creations for sale, and film their own Youtube knitting tutorials. There are numerous free knitting patterns for beginners and helpful e-books to get you started. Consider something small if you are a beginner, like knitting an infinity scarf (there are tons of free scarf knitting patterns) – there is something magical in picking up needles and thread and creating a unique product that you can touch, use, and give as a gift to your friends and loved ones! Is there a new baby in the family? Pick one of the easiest baby knitting patterns and create a baby blanket as a baby shower gift. Transform your home with one-of-a-kind throw, pillows, and decorative touches. Create matching Christmas stockings to decorate your mantel. Possibilities are endless with many exciting and surprisingly simple knitting projects.

And while you are knitting them, reap some health benefits. That old saying: “Idle hands are the devil’s workshop” gets a new meaning with crafts: hands that are busy knitting and crocheting might be a powerful workshop for positive thoughts that feed your brain and reduce stress hormones.

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The best coloring book for adults

Did you know that the most popular search related to what kind of pictures to color is “pictures of flowers to color“?
Yes, flowers are a bit ahead of ever popular dogs and cats pictures. Probably, for the reason that most of us can’t put the whole rainbow of colors into these lovable creatures, though flower coloring just calls for it.

What do most coloring enthusiasts expect from a good coloring book for adults?

Variety of designs
Recycled elements, boring or over simplified geometrical patterns make the majority of complaints in this area.

Size of the coloring patterns
An excessive number of tiny details makes picture coloring too stressful for some instead of providing calming coloring therapy. Some might enjoy the complexity though…
A good coloring book should provide a variety of color pages for adults with different levels of such complexity. On some days you might require complete relaxation and on other days you won’t mind a bit of coloring challenge.
On the opposite side of spectrum adult coloring books should be at the level of McDonald’s crayons color pages for kids. This is pretty obvious and still there is a number of creators of adult coloring books that don’t understand the difference between adults and kids coloring.

Line thickness of the drawings
Extra thick lines are not favored by many although in certain cases bolder outlines of major areas of compositions could help with selecting right colors.

Too much of empty space
I remember one book with a few dog pictures to color that had more than half of the pages almost without any patterns. Although all the dogs were masterfully decorated with leaves and cross-hatched lines resembling camouflaged sharp shooters.
One way to deal with extra empties would be to get creative with your black sharpie and draw a few decorative elements by yourself. Who knows, perhaps you’ll get even more relaxation from outlining than from the actual picture coloring?

Too many pre-printed black areas
Right away Celtic knot ornaments come to mind. They look beautiful with all that black color filling inner spaces between woven patterns but for 100% of us these black areas are not fun to color at all!
There is one way to deal with these black regions in case you already bought the book.
Get one of the “Gold” or “Silver” pens or markers from your local craft store and have your ways with those annoying blacks.

Size and format of coloring books
Coloring books with tear-off pages vs regular ones

I know, we expect everything to be consumer-friendly nowadays. iPhone’s Siri is always trying so hard to find things for me when I simply hold my finger over some button longer than Apple’s standard button holding time. Tear-offs pages are supposed to be super consumer-friendly and sometimes they are. The thing is that they have a habit to tear off perfectly when you kind of don’t care about what you’re tearing off.
Once in a while you may come across some marvelous flower pictures to color, you put your heart and soul into these coloring masterpieces and you really want to frame them to leave for your children and their children… Now, mark my words, if you will try tearing-off any of these “masterpiece” pages there is 95% chance that tearing will not go along the perforated line. This is how it works in real life.
In my experience x-Acto knife would do a much better job.

Availability of online coloring samples or ideas
Yes, these would be nice to have available.
Why?
For some unknown reason the majority of coloring crowd thinks that every picture should give each currently available color an equal opportunity.
I guess that a lot of people somehow manage to get tons of relaxation from the process of creating these seizure-inducing products.
As they say: “Always consult a professional.” Check your color scheme and consult available online sources.
Color pages for adults can be relaxing for some and have an opposite effect for others. Using wrong color combinations may over-stimulate your brain instead of calming it.

One-sided or double-sided
If you are dead set on using markers then double-sided printed coloring pages will disappoint you even if they were printed on thick paper. Markers have a nasty habit of leaking through paper of almost any thickness if you hesitate and leave the maker’s felt tip touching one spot for a few moments.
Another not so good thing about markers is their pre-set color intensity.
This is why color pencils are a better choice than markers.
Yes, pencils require frequent sharpening and some good ones could be pretty expensive.
Sharpening pencils can be a part of coloring therapy as much as the process of coloring pictures of flowers or cats.

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The Best Wedding Invitations: Styles and Trends

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In an interview Dream Wedding Planner Jeannie Savage was asked: “What is your favorite element of a wedding to plan?” Her answer may surprise you: “The stationery! I love graphics… whether its mixed fonts or adding in the right artwork. I used to paint before I got “busy” so as an artist I love seeing the creativity and originality from graphic designers. Also invitations are not just about paper any more—I love printing on wood or etching on acrylic.”

If you are planning your dream wedding and have to decide where to print wedding invitations, you want to evaluate the latest and the hottest trends and choose the right design for the best wedding invitations for your personal style and overall wedding theme.

pure_love_wedding_invitation_ocean_blueOne of the hottest trends in wedding invitation design have been playing with color while skipping traditional and boring white background. The trendiest colors for 2016, if you are in the processes of planning your next year wedding, are purple, salmon, and turquoise not to forget classic favorites such as navy, deep plum, and even black. In addition to rich colors, wedding invitations don’t have to be square – check out unique cut-out shapes that will let even traditional wedding invitation to stand out. Fall favorites include jewel tones, such as rich gold and burgundy, sometimes accentuated with metallic gold or silver. You can even go further and continue that color scheme in a simple DIY project of colorful escort card display to guide your quests to their seats at the wedding reception.

watercolor_floral_wedding_invitationIf these bold colors seems too much for your taste but you still want to create best custom wedding invitations don’t overlook another hot trend: watercolors. Wedding designers have already started to offer watercolor overlay for traditional white and off-white dresses. They look very romantic and you can continue that theme in your bridal shower initiations as well as your wedding invitations. While watercolors immediately bring to mind elaborate floral designs, your wedding invitations don’t necessarily have to reflect that: opt out for a modern touch by adding soft pastel colors to your envelope liners or just a few lines of watercolor paint going through your invitations. This creates a light mood and can go well with a summer beach wedding—barefoot on the sand!

Custom monograms are becoming increasingly popular as they let you create something one-of-a-kind for your new union and continue the theme in the future. Design your monogram once and use it on everything from wedding invitations to napkins at your reception to thank you notes for wedding as they are meaningful and uniquely represent who you are. Monogram wedding invitations can be modern or classic, used for rustic country wedding invitations or black and white classy wedding invitations, over floral designs or combined with popular modern-looking chalkboard designs – be unique and create what represents you the best.

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If you have been looking for inspiration online as well as collecting best wedding invitations from your friends you are surely getting in the mail, you can’t ignore the growing trend of modern informal wedding invitations. From squares to triangles, from simple chevron patterns to zig-zags in bold colors, modern designs are definitely in and are here to stay. If that style speaks to you, go for it – but try to find something unique and don’t over-simplify your wedding invitation design while trying to get away from traditional. While the font and design of your informal wedding invitations can be simple, add some unique touches, such as custom paper choice in pearl shimmer or metallic silver.

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One of the other hottest trends for wedding invitations are custom maps that bring unique touches to assure your wedding stationary will get attention it deserves in the mail avalanche your wedding guests receive daily. The maps can be created with online drawing software or be hand-drawn, for example, for a rustic country wedding invitations. Besides giving your invitations one-of-a-kind look, they provide your guests with valuable directions as it is easy to take a wrong turn on a winding country road. You can also add local attractions to the map to give your out-of-town relatives opportunity to enjoy the area before or after the wedding. Show your playful side by creating a treasure map or starting a treasure hunt contest among your guests to build excitement for your wedding reception.

Are you planning a cool destination wedding? Why not add cool wedding invitations to the mix. You don’t have to go overboard with this trend – just pick one element and repeat it on all your wedding invitation sets from ‘save the date’ postcards (or magnets) to after-party ‘thank you’ notes for wedding guests. It can be a modern graphic design of tropical foliage or a coral star in pastel colors. Nautical theme has always been a designers’ favorite – it is classy and appropriate for a beach or yacht club wedding, or coastal country club reception. If bride and groom are skillful sailors or plan a sea voyage for their honeymoon, it can be reflected in the wedding collection as well, along with little unique graphic details. White and blue with red or gold accents will give these cool wedding invitations a fresh look for a breezy summer wedding.

 

Looking through thousands of inspirations online, you can’t help to become weary of floral designs for wedding invitation sets and crave something different. Embrace a hot trend inspired by hand-written calligraphy invitations. It is not calligraphy from you great-grandmother wedding invite. Modern designs with contemporary-looking fonts are taking over the art scene, creating elaborate name or monograms designs and patterns, resembling bold brush strokes in black or gold over white or color background. Calligraphy style is the right choice for informal wedding invitations as well as classy wedding invitations – it all depends on the font that you pick. Calligraphy doesn’t have to be overwhelming – there can be too much going on with all the wedding invitation wording that should be present. You can opt out for just the name to be in elaborate calligraphy font while the text is plain and simple.

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It is hard to compete with attention-grabbing gold, so it is safe to say that gold foil will remain a timeless hot trend for wedding invitation sets. Gold is popping up everywhere from envelope liners to calligraphy monograms. The word of caution: it is easy to get carried away, so listen to your inner voice to embrace good taste. Depending on the way you use gold – as an accent or bold background – it can give your wedding invitations a classic or modern look. Use elegant gold patterns to accentuate your invitations along with your names on a simple white background to create classic or vintage wedding invitations. Simple gold shapes on black background will look bold and modern. Silver and copper foils are gaining popularity is well. Metallic silver paper (made in Italy for custom Zazzle invitations!) will pair the best with pastel colors for romantic spring wedding. With a shine reminiscent of precious metal, it is a sure winner for a glamorous occasion.

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If you are a busy professional who decided to save money by not hiring a wedding planner, save time by using unique perfectly-coordinated wedding collections. These wedding invitation sets have all you need from ‘Save the Date’ cards, wedding invitations and even customized postage stamps professionally designed with the latest trends in mind. No matter what your style is, you can find your perfect sets among classic, modern, vintage, and country collections, just to name a few, perfectly coordinated for all your wedding needs.

 

The History of Keep Calm Poster

The history of ‘Keep Calm and Carry On’ poster is quite remarkable and dates back to late 1939. Great Britain’s Ministry of Information was tasked with creating morale-boosting posters after the outbreak of World War II which would be displayed in public places all over British Isles. They have came up with three posters, two of which were printed and put on display: ‘Your Courage, Your Cheerfulness, Your Resolution will Bring Us Victory’ and ‘Freedom is in Peril, Defend It With All Your Might’ while the third one was never officially presented to the public.

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Keep Calm poster was supposed to be displayed only if Great Britain would be occupied by Germany which never happened. Later during the war the leaflet with the message from the Prime Minister has been distributed that had words: “Stay Firm. Carry On” but they were not used in the same sentence. So, boxes of it were destroyed after the war, while one survived and was accidently found 60 years later in 2000 by Stuart and Mary Manley, owners of Barter Books second-hand bookstore in northeast town of Alnwick, among the pile of old books purchased at the auction. Mary liked the message so much that she had it framed and displayed at the store. Soon numerous patrons were inquiring about the poster willing to purchase a copy of their own. Since that limited number of original poster was found in the National Archives and the Imperial War Museum and originals have surfaced at the antique auctions.

The simple reassuring and quintessential British message of the war-time poster has been reproduced, copied, mocked, parodied and mass-produced in all kinds of media all over the world. Mary Manley commented that she didn’t want the message to be trivialized but she was not able to stop the avalanche of commercialization that followed. The author of the “message from the past to the present” is unknown but poster’s simple style with bold colored background and clear style lettering has become an easily recognizable icon of the modern times. There are numerous creators of Keep Calm poster online where you can insert your own message or artwork instead of iconic king George IV crown that is on the original poster and even stray away from the colored background. The message proved to be timeless though we don’t know the author to whom all the credit is due.

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In 2009, the poster saw its biggest come-back due to the spread of a global economic crisis in England. Two British newspapers, The Guardian and The Independent, published articles about the relevance of the poster to people dealing with financial troubles. Dr. Rebecca Lewis received Ph.D for the thesis based on the original poster series and started the blog that kept track of any variations of the original message. The Keep Calm-o-matic image generator was created that allowed users to make an image with their own message which started an avalanche of usage in all kinds of printed media, including T-shirts, mugs, cards, etc. Just Zazle store carries close to 47,000 thousand products with variation of ‘Keep Calm’ message with countless variations of Keep Calm And Carry On shirts, posters and other merchandise.

In 2011 an UK-based company tried to trademark the slogan but its claims have been rejected on the grounds that “the words are too widely used for one person to own the exclusive right.” Since the popularity of this vintage poster has grown the humorous messages have been used from cute to political. Some of them include “Now Panic and Freak Out” (with upside down crown), “Keep Calm and party On”, “Keep Calm and Dance On” and numerous “Keep Calm and YOUR OWN MESSAGE” … and there is no end to this craze on the horizon!

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