Temari ball – interlocked bands, thick and thin

September 11, 2011

24cm circumference, perle cotton #5

This is in Ozaki’s Cosmo Volume 2. I’ve attempted close to about a dozen or so of the simplest balls this instruction book, but feel as if I’ve barely skimmed the surface so far.

This one is illustrated in colour on page 3 and again in black-and-white, with no detailed instructions, on page 68. I’ve struck this pattern of thick and thin interlocked bands elsewhere in Japanese printed textiles, so I think it might be common, perhaps reflecting wood grain or bamboo marquetry.

At first it appears to be a Complex 6 in structure, but of course is a Complex 8. I started with the mid-sized bands (1 blue, 2 yellow, 2 blue) which interlock over the poles and centres of each of the eight squares around the ball. 5 stitched rounds of perle cotton 5 amounts to around a width of 0.5cm, so it’s a very simple matter of using this measurement at each of the three points of the giant triangles (that large triangular shape similar to an heraldic escutcheon).

Because of the “steep” curves around such a small ball, a somewhat loose stitching style is required in order to nudge the finished rounds into position at the finish. The natural tendency of course is to pull the thread hard when ‘burying’ the ends inside the ball, so compensating for that process is required in order to get a nice even look with stitched rounds forming parallel lines all over.

Step two is the single stitched round of blue in the centre of the giant triangles. This is where the jiwari marking threads meet up.

Step three for me was the wide bands (3 blue and 5 yellow). Again since 8 stitched rounds is roughly equivalent to a width of 1cm, I visualised this running between the thin strip and the single round alread stitched. I measured 0.5cm out from each point of the small blue triangles.

Finally step 4 was the remaining single stitched round of blue linking up with the ones stitched in Step 2.

There’s a nice geometric relationship between the bands, 1:5:7 (or 8 in my case since I thought the wide band could do looking a tad wider). The ball relies a lot, obviously, on the contrast between the bands and the negative space in the background. I’ve seen this pattern in printed textiles done in just blue and white. There is a tendency to “keep going” with the bands, to make them wider and fill up the spaces – but this temari is, ultimately, an exercise in different widths of band and the contrast between them.

The stitching looks intricate, but this design is remarkably simple and surprisingly quick to stitch.

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2 Responses to “Temari ball – interlocked bands, thick and thin”

  1. Barb Suess Says:

    Hi Rod,
    Thank you for sharing your analysis of the temari you’re stitching from Cosmo 2. Always so insightful and inspiring to me. I’m eligible to apply for L4 for JTA certification next summer but am thinking I need a lot more study and experimentation with temari like these. There is much to be learned from copying the Master.
    Lovely stitching!
    Barb Suess

    • rodbyatt Says:

      Thaks, Barb, for your kind words. The online workbook style helps me articulate for myself the thought processes and “why” I’ve done what I’ve done.
      I am enjoying “wallowing” in C8s for a while. While many of the least complex in Cosmo 1 and 2 (and ISBN 4837704867 C5076) look superficially “basic”, I’m find them good for thinking about colour. They are certainly repaying handsomely on the time I’m spending on them. In considering JTA L1 and L2 too, I’m conscious of working on the foundations.
      In the coming summer months, I need to restock threads (greater variety of colour!) and will get back to some C10s as well.


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