Temari

Temari info and links (more info added)

No, no baby yet (thankfully; blood work came back fine, and all of my other factors were actually lower Friday than they were Wednesday), but I have another appointment today. I also think I’m coming down with bronchitis. Yeah, just what I need at 38 weeks pregnant! ::rolls eyes::

Anyway, someone asked me about temari in my most recent set of comments. Normally, I would expound quite a bit on temari, why I love it, and show pictures. But I just don’t have the energy right now. So here is the super-short version. Temari is a Japanese embroidery technique done on spherical objects, usually handmade balls of some kind. It involves wrapping the ball with thread, then using decorative threads to create a design of some kind, usually geometric in nature. (You can see why this appeals to the engineer in me.)

I got started with it because a friend of mine learned to make them and brought an example with her to one of our stitching get-togethers. She then offered to teach us how to do it. She first used (with permission) Judy’s Temari Tutor which, as far as I am concerned, is still the absolute best resource available. Better than any book. Another very good website, though better once you have tried your hand at a few is TemariKai. Great info, fair to good design instructions (depending on the design, but hey, they’re free!), and an extensive links page. They also have a mailing list that has a good amount of chatter.

However, once you get the hang of the concept, the books are pretty useful as well. I use them more for inspiration (both design and color) than I do for actual instruction, but they are still good to have. Here are the three I own:
* Temari: How to Make Japanese Thread Balls, by Diana Vandervoort (she has several books)
* The Craft of Temari, by Mary Wood
* Temari: A Traditional Japanese Embroidery Technique, by Margaret Ludlow

I hope this helps. You can see examples of temari made personally by me in my temari webshots album. I’ll get around to having a real webpage about them one of these days.

Okay, just for Glenda, I’m editing this post to talk about the supplies I use. I use 3 inch diameter styrofoam balls (available at any craft store, often in the floral section) as my base. Haven’t gotten around to making my own mari yet. I then use 1/4 inch batting, a yarn layer (baby yarn), and at least one entire 300 yard spool of sewing thread. I think Judy talks about this on her site, but I don’t remember for sure. Seems like either she does or Diana Vandervoort does. Anyway, once the base is wrapped, I divide the ball using quilting pins (I like the different colored heads, makes it easier to know what marking pin is what). You are now ready to put something on your wrapped mari base.

I usually divide the ball using Kreinik #4 braid or perle cotton (#5, I think, but I’ll double check). For paper strips, I usually just cut the edges off of junk mail! I do most of the stitching (i.e. the actual design) in either perle cotton (again #5, IIRC) or just plain ol’ DMC floss, just as it comes off the skein. For a cheaper alternative to perle cotton (that works perfectly fine, and I like it to play with, since it’s cheaper), the DMC “craft thread” that is sold in packs is roughly the same weight as the perle cotton. It’s not as shiny, but it comes in lots of colors, so give it a try if you don’t want to put a lot of mone into it initially. However, it gives more dimension and texture than DMC floss, which ends up much more smooth in appearance. I can’t remember what needles I use. Just the longest ones I can find; 2 inches is pretty good. The rubber “needle gripper” discs, often found in the quilting section, are fabulous for pulling the needles under the thread wrap.

That’s everything I can think of. If I think of anything else, or if you have any other questions, just let me know.