My latest temari

April 8, 2013


Here is a bunch of my most recent temari balls. Each fell short of expectations in one way or another, but I’m of the belief that it’s the responsibility of any artist to focus on quantity rather than on quality. Quality is for other people to assess. Of course, I will do the best I possibly can with each ball, but basically I’ve just got to just ‘get on with the job’, progress being almost imperceptible.

These last few weeks I’ve had a go at Joan’s Ninja Star, with the spectrum colours on black. Initially, I’d tried to work this out myself, without the pattern, but gave up. I am grateful for Joan’s explanation about how the bands are created. The initial problem of laying down the initial bands  was explained and I got there in the end – just! The problems along the way were without number, so I’m a bit awry at the moment about repeating the process. I am also grateful for the different ways my colleagues over at Temari Challenge (Yahoo! Groups) approached the design; their different colorways were truly inspiring and kept me going.

I’m terribly grateful too to Barb Suess for her excellent explanations in her latest book about Ribbed Herringbone and Descending Herringbone, both of which I tried in following her Clematis and Jasmine designs. I adore their simplicity but the colours need to be just right, as do the number of rows and whether or not to keep them exactly parallel or not.

The gaudy red-and-white on black is a design I’ve been meaning to do for ages, but was thrown by the stitching sequence in the Japanese pattern. I’ve yet to work out exactly how to keep track of where I’m up to with the threads being worked continuously around the ball. I marked the starting point with a pin, but that was insufficient. After a few more attempts at this design, I will probably arrive at an appropriate method. I missed out on a band of dark gold which would have mediated the dominant red-pink; the bold triangles have always been somewhat off-putting.

I’m looking at simple kiku herringbone designs. The red/black/white duo come from Ozaki and the delicate pink over greens comes from Barb Suess. The latter needs some refinement because I ran out of space for the greens which I would have loved to include. Again, not 100% happy with the strength of the hues, my current off-white thread for background mari being too close to the thread colours.


Another, both successful and not. The original was a continuous red and white stitching thread throughout.


Lastly, an all-green ball, worked as a gift for a long-time friend whose favourite colour this is. The challenge was not to introduce any other colour and I’m not sure whether a subtle brown was an appropriate background. I swore off grey as a mari colour ages ago and I find brown a difficult colour to work with at the best of times. The same goes for green. I was sensitive to the difference between warm greens and cool greens. I daresay she will like this one though. Having stitched dozens of C10s in the past three years, I’m still waiting for very exact hexagons and pentagons to come along. I suspect I have to stitch hundreds rather than dozens to get there! I disguised the most obvious errors by using stitching thread colours which blended in to the background.

Ever onward!


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