Temari Tuesday 6 – Temarikai 0704

July 14, 2010

My self-confidence in handling complex C10 divisions is returning with each C10 I make. Creating accurate division lines is critical and comes with practice. However, I’ve not made a really successful Intermediate Level temari in all of the last twelve months and this current example ended up being yet another disappointment. I’ve gone back to working beginner patterns, but there are no clear paths in the literature allowing practitioners beginners to move to intermediate patterns. When I encountered similar blocks in kumihimo, they were overcome with the help of a Japanese master.  I’m really feeling the lack of a local temari teacher and local colleagues to assist with the refinements. In this particular instance, the divisions and basic stitches created no problems, the initial rows create a charming tracery reminiscent of Arabic geometry. But the finish and the detail failed, with the rows piling up on top of each other because of the low, wide angles in the kiku stitches.

Source: www.temarikai.com – patterns – 0704 (G. Thompson)

Model: Black mari, 33cm circumf, C10 divisions in metallic gold, kiku (shitagake chidori) in red  and yellow in the triangles within each pentagon, plus white (sakasa uwagake) at the centre of each of the pentagons.

Description: Mine is a 34.5cm circumf mari, which I thought would be big enough but appears to be too small for the angles of the kiku stitches required. Visually, the interest is in a series of “flowers”: white centres and surrounds of red and yellow. The model calls for quite stark contrasts between red, yellow, white and black; I went for a very light grey mari (always problematic because grey has a tendency to “swallow” just about every colour put on it) with muted pinks, mauves and yellows. Using tertiary colours is always potentially dangerous in temari because there is little visual drama. Drama and colours “popping” is, after all, the mainstay of temari. But I wanted a rest from making bold statements and liked the idea of doing some kiku. There is a strong dichotomy in temari between the strongly geometric and the strongly “naturalistic”, between bands and ‘flowers’. After doing one style, one craves its opposite.

Because each row interweaves with the next, what’s required is a single row in a single colour all over the ball before moving on to the next colour/row, so this certainly qualifies as a “slow” C10 temari. But the delicate tracery is extremely satisfying.

I worked additional division lines within each triangle, one at a time. There appeared to be plenty of space to work the kiku stitches, but the end result provided none of the clear stitched rows of the model. The model seems to call for three rows of each colour, so to create some additional visual interest, I used two grades of mauve/purple and light/dark rose pink, as well as two grades of yellow in the centre of each ‘flower’.

I worked one row of each colour in one entire pentagon – mauve, pink and yellow – just to gain some confidence in the my choice of colours.

Outcomes: The angle of the kiku is unfortunately too shallow and how each kiku interlocks is quite mystifying! I’m not aware of any precedents in the design I can turn to. I’m sure the secret is embedded in the instructions.

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