Temari ball – heptagram
August 2, 2011
22cm circumf, perle cotton #5, Cosmo volume 1 (colour photo p.24, pattern p.50)
I looked at the picture of this ball and thought, “This is just another ordinary kiku“. I counted the number of chrysanthemum petals and kept coming up with the strange number of seven. I kept re-counting in disbelief, positive I wasn’t seeing things straight. But no, it’s a seven-pointed star.
With seven petals, you can’t exploit alternating colour as you can with an even number of petals – one colour for a petal interwoven with another colour for the next petal. But apart from that, this is just about the only seven-pointed star I’ve come across in temari ball stitching so far. I’ve often wondered about nine-pointed stars and implications for applying Arabic geometry to temari.
Warding off evil
I have no idea of the symbolism behind any seven-pointed stars or seven-sided polygons in Japanese design culture. In other cultures, it is associated with warding off evil and there are plenty of references in Japanese culture to warding off evil, e.g. special stitches in children’s clothing and wearing particular colour combinations in the listed “unfortunate” years during one’s life. Braiding has a long history of warding off evil and it’s not coincidental that the braided obijime encircles a woman’s waist over the obi, symbolically protecting her fertility and the unborn child in the process.
The heptagon in temari
I have no idea how to generate a heptagon or seven-sided polygon on a temari ball.
Of more pressing concern was my inability to fit all the required rows of stitching on such a small ball. The pattern called for 2 purple, 3 white, 6 orange, 1 white and 3 red. I only got half way through this quota. Curious!
Colour-wise, this ball relies (in the original done by Ozaki) on colours next to each other on the colour wheel, i.e. analogous: red/purple, mediated by white and a light shade (dark rose) of red, all on a pinkish mari. A “tight” colour relationship, therefore effective. I’m so impressed with Ozaki’s colours, I’m tempted to repeat this ball on a larger mari in order to fit in all the required numbers of stitched rounds.