TIF project

I have been working on the TIF project this week between other non stitch related things. I have gotten some computer work done but haven’t spent any time learning more about how to blog.  I could use a month of uninterrupted time to myself and I still would be so-o-o-o behind I’d look like I was winning the race.

It’s been a long time since I stitched a Temari, probably a couple years…But like riding a bike you don’t forget how. I learned how to make Temari Balls from Betty Kernaghan in 1990. She had learned the art when she had lived in the Orient. She was a master of Temari art, but I don’t think she had any official certification. I took a beginning class from her and then purchases books written in Japanese and taught myself the rest. You can learn a lot from looking at pictures!

 When I first started making Temari there was very little information about them available and any books written about these balls were written in Japanese. Today there have been several magazine articles and books written and some of those books have even been written in English. I own most of the Japanese written books and I think I have all the English written books and they are all great references. I think the best English book written is Japanese Temariby Barbara Suess. You can find the book on Amazon or Barb’s web site: http://www.japanesetemari.com/.  I have known Barb several years and she is a very talented Temari artist. She is a member of the Japan Temari Association  and has passed the Advanced level for Temari. She will be teaching a Temari class this fall for the Embroiderers’ Guild of America (EGA): www.egausa.org.

Another equally great Temari person  is Ginny Thompson and her web site is: http://www.temarikai.com/. Ginny is a member of the Japan Temari Associationand has a Shihan/Master (L3) Certificate in Temari. I’ve known Ginny through her web site for many years . This web site has been around a long time and is very good.

Since both Ginny and Barb’ s websites give a lot of information about Temari, not only the history but the basic how to-s as well as some of the more advanced instructions I won’t go into that here, but I do suggest you take a look at both websites. Both these ladies are well informed in their art and have willingly shared it. Please remember to share your knowledge with someone willingly, otherwise your art will die. Temari was all but a lost art several years ago and there have been a handful of ladies who have willingly shared their knowledge and ideas to keep this art alive. Thank you ladies! I would be remiss if I did not at least mention S. Ozaki. She wrote or edited books written in Japanese for Cosmo books. Cosmos is a Japanese thread company like out DMC or Anchor. There are other Temari web sites and all are fun to look at (check out the links on the Ginny and Barb’s web pages. One other site you might want to check out: http://www.temarimath.info/default.htm Debi Abolt likes to look at Temari from the mathematical side. All the web sites are fun to visit, there are many talented people out there.

Temari means “hand ball” and I make all my balls from scratch. Briefly and simply … I use a piece of cotton for the core and wrap knitting yarn around this core to almost the desired size. I then add a layer of crochet cotton (like twine ) over the yarn and then over this I wrap at last one spool ( 250 – 300 yards) of sewing thread. The wrapping is done in a random, criss cross method turning the ball in different directions while keeping a steady even tension on the yarn or thread. The real secret to this wrapping is to keep turning the ball , shape the ball with palms of your hands as you are wrapping and keep an even tension. It really is not as difficult as it sounds, just takes some practice.  

Marking the temariI think the difficult part is choosing a design there are endless possibilities. After the design is chosen, placing the pins for the marking/guidelines on the ball is the next challenge. But once all this is accomplished then the fun begins…stitching on the guidelines and watching the design grow.  This first picture shows a simple temari with pins marking the north and south pole and the equator. There is always a north pole (NP) and south pole (SP) and equator points. The equater  points determine the divisions of the ball, there can be 3-6-12-24… ; 4-8-16-32…; 5-10-20…. How you use these points and others placed on the ball determine whether the ball is a simple division or a complex division temari.

Temari 080123Temari 080123Temari 080123 This first Temari is a simple 4 (S4) division wrapped. The first picture is a composite picture of the NP, 3 of the 4 equator points and SP. (Someday I’ll learn how to put a 3-d picture on a blog…for now my composites will have to do.) The second picture is the NP or SP design, and the third picture is the equator design.  The marking thread for this design, Kreinik 1/16th ribbon was incorporated into the design (not always the case). After the ball was marked I wrapped #5 pearl cotton in consecutive order: blue, cream, purple and Kreinik ribbon around the ball. I finished by securing the NP, SP and equator points with a large cross stitch over the wrapped threads. At the NP and SP I added some straight stitches using Kreinik ribbon, notice these are not added at the equator points.

Temari 080122 Temari 080122Temari 080122 NP-SPTemari 080122Temari 080122 This was really the first temari I made for the TIF project and as you can see from the pictures intended to walk step by step through the design but somehow forgot and so you have the beginning and the end result. If I do another Temari I will try and be more diligent in my photo taking (remember I never have enough time). The first photo were the supplies I chose for this project, but in the end I eliminated the overdye. The second picture is the pin and marking thread placement for this simple 16 (S16) division temari. Notice I used a thin silver thread as the marking thread, it is only a guide line and is not used as part of the design. Next I wrapped each color in a sequence pattern: medium green, dark green, light purple, dark purple. If you look closely at the third and forth pictures you can see that each color is wrapped at 90 degree angles to itself at the north and south poles and again at the equator. The real emphasis of this temari is the “obi ” band at the equator. “Obi” is from Japanese clothing, it is the sash wrapped around the waist over a kimono. These obi sashs are sometimes quite elaborate and are also family keepsakes passed from one generation to the next. In the fourth and fifth pictures you can see the obi and the weaving pattern developed while wrapping the colors in a consecutive order. Over the equator points I stitched a herringbone stitch to secure the threads and develop the obi band more. At the north and south pole I stitches a straight stitches over the poles and then secured them with a spider web stitch. The spider web stitch is really a western addition to the temari, most of the Japanese temari are secured with a simple wrapping stitch.

I need to finish one more temari and then I will post again. I really wish I were better at this than I am, it seems to take me a couple days to get one blog posted. Maybe with practice I will get better, or maybe I’ll win a big lottery (guess I’ll need to play first..but that is just one more thing to do in a day) and have more time to do the things I want. Off to see if I can find more time laying around somewhere. As Tigger from Pooh would say..”TTFN (ta-ta for now)!”


2 thoughts on “TIF project

  1. I love these balls of art. I saw a DIY program once about these type of balls, so they are probably becoming popular but I have never seen anyone blog about them before.

    I like the detailed description of how your did this and one day if I have the patience I might give a try.

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