Saturday, June 06, 2015

Tapping into Temari!

I realize it's been two weeks since I posted last... Well, I found something new and super exciting that I have been OBSESSING over!

I've been busy making these.

It's called Temari手まり. Temari is an ancient art of Japan. Surprise surprise! The literal translation is hand ball. You guessed it, these used to be toys for children to play with. Made from scrap kimono fabric and thread, mothers would wind and stitch these. While I'm not sure what patterns they used, I imagine that modern methods and stitching are inspired by tradition.  

Here's my story. I saw a pin on Pinterest and instantly fell in love! Within the day I tried my hand at it and found making Temari to be fairly simple if a bit time consuming. Instead of using styrofoam balls for the base like a lot of people do now, I used scrap fabrics for my first one then batting on the rest. After I finished my first temari, I couldn't stop! I had to try more! So many colors and patterns! The sky is the limit! 

Then I found this book.

In the above picture you can see the temari I've made so far and my new favorite book!
It's called Tiny Temari and Adorable Accessories! We discovered that we can order from the Japanese Amazon so we bought it. :) I love it! Seriously though. When It came in the mail I ran around the house screaming in delight! It took me a while to settle down enough to actually open it. Hahaha! It was exactly what I was looking for. Larger temari are nice, but not very useful beyond using it as a stress-ball or for decoration. I'm thinking necklaces and key chains. =D

Here's the first one I made! I used scrap fabric for the base, then wrapped it with black string. Once, the fabric was no longer peeking through, I marked the 8 divisions in the red thread. It's all very geometric. XD yay math?

 So once, the divisions were marked, I went in with the top stitching. All of the stitching on top anchors the thread that wraps around the ball. I used embroidery floss for this design. 

This one is about 2"

Of course it wouldn't be complete without the obi! The belt that goes around the center. 

It fits so nicely in my hand that I brought this with me to the dentist so I could trace the pattern while they were working on my mouth it helped take my mind off of what they were doing. Blegh! But it helped! ;)

Here's the second one! Same method as the first, but I used batting to make the base, then wrapped it with white string. This time I used cotton pearl thread for the top stitching. I love how shimmery it is! 

This one is 2.5-3 inches.

The obi. 
Thanks for the thread mom! 

Next up are the minis!

I just did a random wrap on this one in various colors. Just trying to do something different from the fancier stitches. I did this one before we found the book. :)
This little guy is 1 inch.

Here's the second mini and fourth attempt at temari. I kept this one simple. I didn't measure my divisions and just eyeballed everything... It's a little skiwampanidley as I like to say, or off as everyone else says. ;)
This one is also 1 inch.

I kept the obi simple on this one. 

Number 3 for the mini series! I made this one after getting the book on Tuesday. The design is called suisen 水仙 or daffodil. Ryler requested this one, so I think I'm going to make it into a key chain for him. =D As you can see I used a light blue string for the wrapping and a dark blue for the division markers.
This one is 1 inch.

The obi. 

Finally, we come to my most recent temari!

This one isn't done yet. In fact, all I've gotten finished is the division lines! It's unique from the others in a few ways. See that loop at the top? That is actually the top of a fishing weight! I realized it would be so easy to bury the weight and loop in the batting before wrapping the ball. :) It'll make it much easier to attach a necklace chain or anything else to it! 

Another difference is the divisions I used. Instead of the normal 6, 8, or 16 divisions, it's a variation on the 8 division. I'd explain, but I don't fully understand either. Hehehe....

It's pretty right? I've been tempted to just leave it as it is. But I'm excited to try a new pattern on it called bara 薔薇 or rose. Yeah... I'm pretty stoked!!!

Here's  a picture of the weights I used. 

I'll post photos as I complete the rose. =D

Now you know what temari is! I'm so excited about making it. It's so different every time! 

What would you do with these? How would you use them? Leave a comment below! :D


  1. They are so cool, Lali! Love, LOVE that big red one with the gold showing through.

  2. That one is my favorite too! :)