Monday, December 19, 2011

Happy New Year 2012 - a traditional temari gift for you

I have been so blessed, so lucky this year in all my temari adventures. Thank you everyone! A New Year's gift of temari from mother to child is a tradition in Japan. This is my gift to you - a sparkling New Year design. Enjoy!

Sparkling metallic and lustrous rayon threads make the stars glow in this high-contrast design. Before attempting the swirl stitching in these small triangles, be sure to perfect the technique on easier designs with larger shapes to fill. The thread wrap on the base of your temari ball must be very thick and tight for the short swirl stitches to stay in place. Be warned that it might be hard on your hands to pull the stitches through the thread wrap. Use a very sharp needle for stitching the design and use a thimble to help push the needle through the ball and protect your finger. This patterns calls for rayon perle. You can substitute cotton #8 perle and get a similar result. Or you could use Kyo or Fujix rayon perle thread from Japan.

Materials: Maxi-Lock Navy for the thread wrap; Rainbow Gallery GoldRush 18 GC26C (thick metallic blue) and Alabaster BG7 (thick metallic white); Sulky Metallic 8052 (fine metallic for tacking); YLI Pearl Crown Rayon 215 (Royal Blue - dark blue), 665 (Chicory - medium blue), 521 (Lucerne Blue - light blue), and 500 (White).

Techniques: combination 10 division, swirl stitching, continuous paths stitching.

1. Prepare the ball. Wrap a 42 cm circumference ball in dark blue thread. Mark a C10 with thick metallic blue thread and tack all intersections with a fine metallic thread.

2. Fill each small triangle on the ball with swirl stitching. Using perle rayon thread, stitch 1 row dark blue, 1 row medium blue, 1 row light blue, and 1 one row white in each triangle. Alternate the placement of clockwise and counter clockwise swirl designs. 

There are 10 small triangles in each pentagon.
Stitch half clockwise and half counter clockwise.

Begin swirl stitching in the right angle corner.

Test your stitching: fill in one triangle with all 4 rows to check that your stitches are small enough and all the rows fit in the triangle. The center should be empty to leave room for the continuous paths stitching and to show some negative space when all of the stitching is done. The stitches made for the swirl designs are very short - just about as small as you can make them.

After completing this test triangle to get your spacing right, continue by stitching 1 row at a time in each triangle. Your swirl design will be neater and stitched faster if you complete 1 row of each color in all the triangles in a 10-part pentagon before moving on to the second color on the second row. For instance, complete those triangles with clockwise swirls (1 row), then complete the counter clockwise swirls (1 row). After you make the stitches to complete a row in a triangle, stitch underground and come up to begin a new row in another triangle.

Stitch 1 row in each triangle. Go down
 to end last stitch in a triangle and come up
to begin the first stitch in another triangle.

Complete all swirl stitching.

3. Continuous paths: with thick, white metallic thread, stitch continuous paths through the negative spaces to make a design similar to pine needles. This will add emphasis to the 5-pointed stars centered in the pentagons on the ball. Stitching pine needle designs in the traditional fashion is too difficult with this thick white metallic thread. You’ll get a straighter line by using conintuous paths.

Place the continuous paths so they cross the
4-part diamonds that show negative space. 
Stitch under all swirl stitching 
between those 4-part diamonds.

Use a very sharp and long needle (about 3 1/3” or 5 cm) for stitching and use a thimble to protect your finger in order to make that long underground stitch. Stitch one complete “X” in each diamond all over the ball (1 row). Continue by adding a second row to each “X” on the ball, and so on until all 5 rows are complete.