Temari ball – Black & White C10

January 12, 2012

27cm circumference, pearl cotton 5

With increasing fluency with C10s, there’s an inevitable desire to upgrade from 32 faces to 42 and more. I am resisting that in the current run of Complex 10 division balls, instead sticking with 32 face C10s to consolidate skills and not jumping too far ahead too fast.

Here’s one from Kiyoko Urata and Mayo Shimazaki’s Elegant Temari book (colour photo page 5 and a verbal description on page 47). I thought I’d return to a colour scheme I used recently: red, yellow and black & white. One of two photographed in Urata & Shimazaki’s book is black-and-white; I have to say that personally I seem to resist making temari without colour. Given the pattern uses two components, nejiri/interlocked triangles and irregularly-shaped large hexagons, I decided not to create the visual illusion of combining them, but to differentiate the components using colour. I think the key in this design is to have a near-black mari, giving the illusion of the surface design floating in space – so mine are on a dark red mari  with red-purple pearl cotton 5 division lines so as not to draw attention to any colour shifts where the large hexagons meet. The colours end up being analagous on the colour wheel: red-purple, dark red, pink, yellow, all with a contrasting black-and-white.

Spoiler alert!

Avert your eyes at this point if you want to tackle this one by yourself.  By all means, come back here if you get stuck.

What I found interesting was that I didn’t need to use pins or measurements in the surface stitching. I did the interlocked triangles first, taking them up to a half-way point (visually). Each of the sides of the triangle has to cross its “kite” of division lines lying on the mari exactly perpendicularly. This allowed me to stitch to the seams in yellow and pink without pins or measuring. The key to the bands is to stay parallel with the division lines throughout. In the past, I think I would have stitched one row of triangles followed by one row of hexagons.

Urata and Shimazaki have been very particular with their final single row of yellow next to the division lines. The difference that creates is huge: it “calms” down the ball a lot. Moving from white to yellow to pink to dark red is quite fierce by comparison.

It is possible to keep stitching right up to the division line seams and create a strong sense of an ‘all-over’ design. At the moment, I’m keen on “almost-all-over” designs: covering a lot of the ball, but still with the relaxed state of mind about not having to go right to the seam, being content with some of the background mari showing.


It’s possible to stitch the yellow-pink triangles as a renzoku or single stitch, round and round the centre of top and bottom pentagons, creating an ever so slight difference in the final result. But that’s another story, or rather, another ball!

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