Temari: Azalea (tsutsuji)
November 17, 2012
I wrapped a 25.5cm circumference mari with a C10 in the same #8 perle cotton green that will feature in the “leaves” surrounding the flowers. Then I stitched with a double-threaded needle a pentagon ‘inside’ each of the 12 large pentagons around the ball; unusually, this ball uses no metallic thread, but for a shiny effect use silk instead of cotton.
Then I stitched diamonds, 8 rows each, around each of the 12 large pentagons. I made sure my shapes turned into diamonds by adjusting the space of the stitches, otherwise I’d end up with a perfect square instead of a diamond. I didn’t stitch right up to the junction at the centre of each small triangle, leaving space for one extra row to fit in before the end, which will be added later.
Then I stitched, with a double-threaded needle, a standard kiku/chrysanthemum inside each large pentagon. I started with one white, then added two pink.
Lastly, I stitched, with a single-threaded needle, a final row of green between the ‘leaves’ and the ‘flowers’.
I kept the leaves and the “soil” the same tonality: when I put the ball at the other end of the room, the leaves appeared to blend into their background. I stitched this in Turkish ‘Madame Tricot’ #5 pearl cotton which doesn’t quite have the lustre of other brands, but I was more concerned today with deconstructing the pattern and determining the number of rows to be stitched than anything else. I was sorely tempted, for example, to use a much brighter red than the pink.
This is an interpretation of a temari ball called “tsutsuji” and pictured in “Elegant temari” (Naniwa temari no miyako temari), page 19 ball #3, by Kiyoko Urata and Mayo Shimazaki (Tokyo: Macaw, 1995).