Temari ball – Triwing and chrysanthemum

August 4, 2011

23.5cm circumf, pearl cotton #5. Cosmo 1 (colour photo p.25, pattern p.52)

Today’s continues my exploration of straightforward designs in Ozaki’s Cosmo volume 1. I didn’t want to get caught up in difficulties interpreting the instructions, so opted for a much smaller ball and went my own way with the number of rounds required.

Colourwise, I wanted to move away from the red-white-blue of the model. Mine is a tetrad (or contrasting four colours on the colour wheel) based on the violet of the mari: blue-violet, red-orange, yellow-orange and blue-green. My cobalt blue takes on a distinctly greenish tinge from the colours around it on the ball.

One thing I retained from the pattern was going from light to dark colours in the triwing and the opposite way in the kiku: dark to light. The stitching would probably me attractive on a white or cream mari, as per the model. I tend to find large triwings somewhat brash and imposing at the best of times.

In terms of symbolism, the wonderful thing about the triwing (mitsubane or mithua-bane, lit. mitsu+hane, three (as in the car company Mitsubishi or “three-diamonds”) feather or wing) is that it creates a hexagon in the middle, the classic tortoise-shell of kikkoh oft used in Japanese art and craft of all kinds. Denoting longevity, it was especially prized by samurai.

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