Monday, January 31, 2011

Weaving Designs for Fill

The TemariChallenge group "Flower Challenge" is still challenging me! I'm working on the third of 12 pentagons to be filled with some of my favorite flowers. I've chosen the cute, little forget-me-not flower for the next one. For the background, I've stitched a hexagonal weave and will place the blue and yellow flowers on top. What's a hexagonal weave? The topic for today's post - that's what it is.

There are lots of different ways to fill shapes (like pentagons) on a marked temari. Recently, I did some research on the art of Japanese basketry and found a gorgeous book called Masters of Bamboo: Artistic Lineages in the Lloyd Cotsen Japanese Basket Collection by Melissa M Rinne, et al.

They have actually traced the art of basketry through generations of teachers and students from 19th century bamboo artists to today. The back of the book has descriptions and diagrams of techniques - eureka! I found names (in a Japanese context) for my favorite weaving designs that I like for temari fill.

Each of these designs includes the Japanese word "me". It means "eye" in Japanese. Do you see all the eyes in the designs below? A bit freaky right? Consider this: all those eyes are a good thing in Japanese lore. They are looking for evil spirits and will fend them away. So don't be freaked out :)  The name of the design is determined by the shape of the eye.

Yotsume  - the "eye" has four sides. Yotsu is a counter for the number four. We call this one a box weave or square weave. Threads cross from two directions. Very simple; you learned how to make it in kindergarten.

Mutsume - the "eye" has six sides. We call this one a hexagonal weave or triaxial weave. Threads cross from three directions so it's most often used for filling hexagons or triangles.

Yatsume - the "eye" has eight sides. Based on the Japanese name for this design, we can call this one an octagonal weave. You'll recognize it from chair caning and basket weaving as well.

I've added these names to the temari glossary on my website - an effort to help us all understand each other and make temari stitching easier. You can always find the link to the glossary at the top of every blog page.

Happy stitching - um, or rather - happy weaving!

Oh - and here are the forget-me-nots in progress.