Thursday, June 5, 2008

Yupo, Ipo, Wepo

I had my last watercolor class on Tuesday – which ended with us being in the basement of the Hogeland Center for 30 minutes with the rehearsing cast of Hello, Dolly. Very cosy.

But before the tornado sirens started, our teacher brought samples of a new sort of ‘paper’ being used by lots of watercolorists right now. It’s called Yupo and it’s basically like a thin plastic sheet made, I believe, from recycled goods. The thing the artists like about it is because it doesn’t use any tree pieces. Which means it also doesn’t soak up the paint which means the paint just gets sort of pushed around the surface which is a whole new way of working with watercolors.

Here’s the first thing I did with it. One of the fun things is that, if you don’t like what you did, you can just take it over to the sink and wash it right off! Yep, wash it right off with the water and the soap (I believe the Windex worked, too). Can you tell it's supposed to be dark waves crashing on a rock shore?

You certainly can’t do layers very well and you have to work with much less water than you might otherwise do. I liked just being able to go over and over it until you get the interaction of the colors right.

Evidently watercolor painters are doing weird and wonderful things with it. I don’t know if I’d like it for a steady diet but it was certainly fun to play with. It also comes in transparent form which could be very, very interesting, don’t you think?

On the knitterly front, my fingers haven’t fallen off since finishing the Balmoral so I’ve got the border started on the Saltire and Thistle Shawl. I bet you don’t even remember it. Well, it’s back up to the top of the list and the pattern is working out terrific. I’ll soon be starting the little leaf pattern for the corner sections and the thistle leaf border pattern is working out nicely. After I fixed the western side, that is. I started out with 101 stitches on each side, as I should, but somehow by the time I’d gotten to the 3rd round, I’d inherited 3 extra stitches. Don’t have a clue where they came from, just showed up for the party but I dealt with them (after I’d counted 8 times and redone the section 3 times and finally realized that I hadn’t counted the actual total number of stitches – 104. Yeah, that’d be it.) But now it’s working along nicely.

I’m also about 1/3 of the way through my ponchette. I’ll post pictures of that tomorrow but changing the pattern to stockinette stitch created some space I hadn’t anticipated but I couldn’t bear to tear it out again so I’ve just soldiered on. I did decide that I would embroider some beads onto it and I have some shell beads that I think will look fab. I’ll get those out for the pics and show you on the next post.

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