Temari balls – All-over patterns

June 25, 2009

“All-over” surface designs are often included in Intermediate Grade temari patterns, but really require a higher level of skill. A near-perfectly round mari is a necessity, as is quite a deal of experience in assessing placement of stitches given the length and degree of curve across the ball. Thorough checking of measurements and tacking  at poles and at the various geometric intersections are strongly recommended. Additional stitches where seams meet are obviously required on occasion and ‘permissible’ – they are visible in Japanese pattern books if you look closely enough. It is also possible to create interesting designs which don’t demand stitching meeting right at the seams. “All-overs” obviously require more thread than usual and take longer. They do however elicit the most feedback. I’m in the middle of a white stained-glass temari, but here are some pictures of previous “all-overs”.

all over 1 all over 2

These are patterns from the Temarikai website. There is a pastel version of the second published in Kawaii temari which I’d like to try sometime.

all over 3 allover 4

Again, patterns from Temarikai. The one on the right is one where the threads don’t meet up at the seams, but because of the strong contrast between the background mari colour and the dark burgundy of the stitched threads, the size of the gaps at the seams is very noticeable.

all over 6  allover 6

At left, a pattern from Temarikai, working close to but not right up to the seams; contrasting colours again draw attention to accuracy of stitching near seams. All-over temari are slow to stitch and because of the very strict order in which stitches neeed to be made, it’s important to keep track of the sequence and be very sure about where you started and left off. These demands were a bit too much for me on this occasion, but I’m thinking only a pedant or a fanatic would actually count the number of rows stitched. The over-riding aesthetic here is the colour combination. The one at right is a C10 or combination/complex ten or bunch of pentagons.

white stained glass

My white ‘stained-glass’ temari, half-completed. I try for concordances these days when it comes to intermediate grade patterns. More than one source of instructions, in English or in Japanese, certainly helps! This pattern apparently comes from Cosmo book 3, but I have only the Temarikai pattern to work from. Initially no problems – 2.75″ diameter mari, which I understand from a standard measurement conversion chart as used by many temari people, is 21cm in circumference. I am immediately suspicious, but proceed. No problems with C10 divisions, in white perle cotton 8 (thanks to my online class from Barb!). No trouble stitching the bands from half-way along each of the triangles surrounding the pentagons. I’ve chosen Madame Tricote (Turkey) perle cotton 5, ordered online from the Crochet Australia website, in six of their mid-range rainbow colours, not too dark and not too light. I start baulking at the 10 rows mentioned in the pattern because each full triangle allows me only 15mm of space to work with, which doesn’t seem at all enough. I do the entire northern hemisphere but then undo the 10 rows, knocking them back to 7, because there is no room left for the white triangles. As it is, this will only leave room for 4 rows of white in each triangle, not 5 as in the pattern. Working the white triangles was interesting. I find the triangle points can be pulled some way down towards the centre of the triangle, allowing more room for the white rows – thus here leaving room for up to eight rows. I find I can ‘go the extra distance’ with the points of the white triangles, otherwise they will bunch up. And next time I will tack the centres of each pentagon, even though they look snug on such a small ball: you need very clear and even marking threads to do the white triangles properly. Having almost finished this one, I came across an additional concordance – Debi’s temarimath.info website. Previously I’d only examined her splendid Investigations, but her Notebook reveals this pattern done very successfully on a 25cm mari.

With four intermediate patterns in a row requiring a lot of ripping-out, perhaps I need to find still easier intermediate patterns. Or perhaps tackling intermediate patterns really does require a lot of ripping out. Or perhaps it’s just mid-winter difficulties and I should be hibernating… There is certainly no clear set of pathways for temari makers through the ‘jungle’ of intermediate patterns. Obviously this doesn’t worry anybody else; I think I have to adapt to the norm and take potluck as I go. I am seriously contemplating having a rest from temari though – four very bumpy rides is enough for the moment.  For a fuller set of photos of my temari efforts, see http://community.webshots.com/user/odoricko





4 Responses to “Temari balls – All-over patterns”

  1. Jane Compeau Says:

    Hi Rob, the first two items are next on my Temari to-do list, I have the mari made, and the divisions pinned but not marked. I think I’m intimidated! Yours turned out lovely.


  2. rodbyatt Says:

    Hello Jane! Thanks for dropping by. The Temarikai instructions for these two are very clear and I’ve no doubt at all yours will turn out extremely well; they are both 26cm which is a good size. The key is not to rush when adding “extras” at the seams. I didn’t rip anything out when I did them… with higher expectations these days, I probably would! Love your blog!

  3. Debi Says:

    Hi Rod, Your comments about ripping out are interesting. I get a little fried when I do many in a row that require lots of ripping too. I wonder if the range of patterns that get labeled as intermediate is too broad, making it hard to choose ones at the level someone is looking for.

    Another note about all-overs… I don’t necessarily feel like a perfectly round ball is as important as a good eye for adjusting the spacing of your stitches. There is actually a fair bit of play in how far apart you can space things and have them look right. Obviously your ball can’t be too far off round but a mm or two won’t make a difference if you get good at your spacing.

    I love all overs but they are so time consuming that I don’t do them that often.

  4. rodbyatt Says:

    Thanks, Debi! I’m definitely hacking about in the ‘jungle’ of intermediate patterns, but will eventually find a pathway.
    Adjusting the spacing definitely makes up for a less-than-perfect round ball. The ‘good eye’ you mention is certainly about seeing “beyond” the current stitch and visually taking in the triangles all around as a whole, something that comes with practice.
    The slow pace of an all-over every now and again appeals and given feedback from others who see my work, are definitely worth it.
    I’m feeling less fried this week and have relaxed with a ‘chicken kiku’ for some fun!

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