Temari ball – interlocked bands

September 10, 2011

 

27cm circumference; perle cotton 5

The starting point for this temari was the colour photo in Ozaki’s Cosmo volume 2, page 2 (ball 6) and a black-and-white photo on page 69.

Given that this was obviously a Complex 8 structure, I thought I’d have a go at it, copying the muted primary colours (light red, pale blue, mid-yellow) of the original. In keeping with the muted colours, I opted also for a cream mari background. The 27cm circumference allows for bands of 11 stitched rounds (two black, three colour, one white, three colour, two black); a smaller ball will definitely require fewer stitched rounds!

I have a preference these days for stitching bands one-at-a-time rather than round-by-round; there always seem to be fewer problems with interlocking that way.  I began with the “foundation” of red bands around the outside of the four squares on all four sides of the ball, then proceeded with the yellow then the blue bands.

I wasn’t able to work out what was happening at the two poles, north and south, so these have gaping “negative” spaces. One of the reasons I’m no great fan of interlocking bands is that very often one ends up with similar “gaps” where the negative space dominates.

It’s a feature of Japanese craft books, ever since they began to be published back in the 1970s, to include both instructions plus “additional” work without instructions designed to motivate and inspire. This accords with the Buddhist foundation of Japanese culture where you are spoon-fed a little, but a little is also held back in reserve so that the apprentice can do some of the hack-work himself (or herself); a Buddhist master never does all the work for the student! This runs against the grain of Western craftbooks, where each and every project is explained in detail. It’s often the case that Western readers of Japanese craft books will beat themselves up over their lack of Japanese language skills, but that misses the essential (cultural) issue.

All up, a mildly frustrating exercise, but that’s about par for the course for attempting something without more detailed guidelines or instructions. I haven’t found anyone else, at least judging from temari online, who’s attempted it so that’s got to be good thing, eh?

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