Temari ball – Spiral (practice ball 2)
September 22, 2011
26.5cm circumference, perle cotton 8
I needed more practice with getting spiral stitches even and consistent and thought that working with perle cotton 8 would be good preparation for working with perle cotton 5. The stitching felt better, as did stitching a hexagon/square in green to start with (keeping the marking thread on the ball was an error).
Having worked a Rose Garden on my first attempt, I decided to try something different, while still pursuing the idea of flowers against swirls of green vegetation. The squares were too small for chrysanthemum kikus falling completely within the bounds of the square, so extended petals seemed logical. The square was too small for anything but just four kiku; I decided against going for interwoven or interlocked petals since I wanted the focus on the flowers themselves. I went for a white-yellow-purple combination, seen as a colour scheme used in one of Ozaki’s books. The white-yellow-purple on a black background meant the outcome was more dramatic than I expected; Ozaki’s book are full of over-the-top dramatic yellow-purple colour combinations!
Operating from the centre of each square for the kikus meant that the flower was still surrounded on four sides by black. I mitigated this somewhat by overstitching a square of yellow and purple over the kikus; the square ends up throwing focus onto the quality of the kiku stitches. In the end I just got used to the fact that the spirals would retain their hexagonal shapes – something I was previously keen to disguise or cover over. My recollection of Barb Suess’ “Mariner’s Compass” is that the kiku were probably started half-way along each of the axes, thus ensuring the background square was covered up and the blue of the kiku blending with the blue of the spirals.
I’m not too unhappy with the final result. Working with perle cotton 8 makes everything feel like stitching-in-miniature. My third practice ball (and I’m not feeling confident these days unless I’ve done three of the same design in reasonably quick succession) will probably be in perle cotton 5 on a bigger ball, hopefully feeling slightly less “cramped” in the process.
I’m still not exactly sure I’ve got the spiral stitching as correct as possible. Certainly, I’m moving the previous stitch out of the way and there is consistency in getting the same amount of purchase given the size of the needle and the fact that it is perle cotton 8. I guess anything else is a matter of practice and concentration!