Temari ball – interlocked quadrilaterals on a C10
December 28, 2011
27cm circumference, perle cotton 5
This is a small C10 temari, which is somewhat unusual because Complex 10 usually denotes a large ball, with dazzling surface patterns. The pattern comes from Ozaki’s Cosmo 6 book, Atarashii Temari or New Temari; see page 3 for the colour photo and instructions on page 42.
Because this is a first attempt and I’m likely to make mistakes, I’ve been cautious and followed the Ozaki model quite closely. Ozaki calls for a 26cm ball: very dark green mari, dark green jiwari (in what appear to be perle cotton 5 thread) and rows of coloured thread in white, mid-orange and a mid-red. The colour gradation approximates traditional ungen, but the central single row of white is in striking contrast to the background mari colour. Ozaki deploys an orange-green colour scheme, which makes it more interesting than the more predictable colour complementary red-green.
Perhaps the most important visual element is the use of multiple greens on very dark green in the negative spaces. The jiwari are not removed, nor are they invisible. Ozaki, to my mind, is definitely aiming for visual complexity here, exploiting ‘depth of field’ and the ‘picture plane’. Removing all the jiwari, or making them invisible, would make the quadrilaterals swim on a very “blank”, “matt” surface by comparison. It reminds me of a housepainter I once knew he used to mix different tints of colours for different parts of timber surrounds of windows and doors, enhancing the existing three-dimensionality with colour.
I changed my colour choices based on the very dark green of the background. I used an extremely pale blue instead of a harsh white (the strong tonal contrast still makes it look “white”). I used a mid-red orange (almost a vermillion) which again becomes more orange against the dark green. I lloked at various reds, from orange-red, -red-red to purpley-red for the single outer row, but went instead for something that resembled tarnished Old Gold.
Step 1 is to create the standard C10 jiwari division lines. Step 2 is to add additional division lines, creating an upside-down hexagon inside each of the ten hexagons. By all means measure the distances in from the outer hexagon carefully, but I think it’s useful to “visually” watch your division thread cross the “kite” perpendicularly to the maximum extent possible. This helps form the basis for the four 90-degree angles for the squares and rectangles to be stitched next. Step 3 is to stitch the quadrilaterals and the key here, of course, is to let the stitches “breathe” at the corners (because the angle is so severe) and not create a “cramped” or “pinched” look at the corners. Take care with the diagram 2 on page 43 because there’s an error in the bottom right hand corner. With a bit of practice, the correct under-over-under interlocking pattern will become imprinted on your brain. For the perfect look though, it is important you get the pattern right in the very first white stitches.
Substituting perle cotton for metallic threads in the stitching of jiwari or division threads is unusual. In fact, creating a temari ball with no metallic thread is somewhat unusual. Ozaki uses the same approach in a C8 ball a few pages further on, with the same stitching colours used again – see page 6, ball 1.