Progress: The 100 Year Project

Remember that post about the 100 year project, in which I create a fabulous modernist needlepoint to upholster a bench? Well, it is underway and I am ridiculously enthralled by this. 

In that post I was thinking that I would copy a Picasso for this project. I don't know why it didn't occur to me at the time that I should recreate the textile with which I was so enamored. Well I have done just that and here it is.

So far this project has been very fun for me because I have had to research and learn a bunch of new things for it. First of all, I didn't know da about what wool to use for my project. I knew that I wanted to use an 18 gauge needlepoint canvas, but I didn't know what weight wool was best, what colors I would use, which manufacturer, and how to find it without paying out the wazoo. After a lot of deliberation, I decided to go with Appleton crewel wool from the UK. I found a internet source (Purlsoho) that sells most colors in skeins at around 2 bucks per, which was perfect for just ordering a whole range of color options. Once I complete my color choices, I will order hanks of wool in larger approximated quantities so they all come from the same dye lot. Appleton has been dying wool for 140 years, they must be pretty consistent in the dye lots by now! 

Additionally I had to technically figure out how to actually make a custom needlepoint canvas. After my canvas arrived and I cut it to size, it was obvious that using a projector was the best method to transfer the image. I don't know how I possibly thought I could trace it by laying it atop another unlit image. 

Thankfully I have a projector which my son salvaged from the e-waste at his school (that's my boy!). Let me tell you, it worked like a charm. I was even able to size it perfectly to the canvas this way. I traced everything with a pencil and then removed from the wall to be painted. 

I learned that it is best to paint the canvas so that the white of the canvas does not show through the wool stitches. I bought a basic set of acrylic and mixed the colors and painted once I had the wool samples to go by. 

I'm starting with the black and moving to successively lighter colors (that is the way to keep your lighter wool as clean as possible because it spares it being too manhandled during the stitching process).

Don't get me wrong, this project is still going to take Fo-ev-a, but at least I'm on my way!

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