I don’t think I ever actually explained why I suddenly had a temari explosion here, (aside from it just being fun to do.) The Japan Temari Association (JTA) offers levels of certification for temari stitchers. Yes, really! A few years ago, my teacher started offering online classes to shepherd non-Japanese speakers through the process in connection with her temari friend Ai in Japan. This is particularly important because for every level above Level 1, you have to submit not only pictures and/or actual temari, but also written pattern instructions in Japanese. Ai has been kindly and valiantly doing these translations for several years, and has now sponsored so many foreigners for JTA certification, they’ve tapped her to head up a chapter specifically for foreigners.
Anyway, I knew about this certification thing last year, but didn’t do anything about it. This year, though, I decided to go ahead and do it. You can apply for Level 1 and Level 2 certification at the same time, so I’m attempting to do both. Today I’m focusing on the requirements for Level 1, which are (from Barb’s site linked above):
Level 1 (Honka or Introductory) – Submit one photo of superior quality for each. Good execution of stitching is the important thing about this level. You can apply for this level after one year of temari study. You can apply for levels 1 and 2 at the same time.
1. Simple 4-division temari, stitched in masu kagari (squares)
2. Simple 6-division temari, stitched in mitsubane-kikkou kagari (tri-wing or trefoil)
3. Simple 8-division temari, stitched in jyouge douji kagari (merry-go-round)
4. Simple 12-division temari stitched in uwagake chidori kagari (kiku herringbone).
As it turns out, I already had several of these done. The tri-wing I’ve already posted about. The merry-go-round one I have a future post about, and kiku herringbone I do all the time, although I turned out not to have an S12 after all. The main one I hadn’t done was the squares.
The interesting thing about an S4 division, as noted by Debi at Temari Train, is that it’s really also a combination division, as the poles and the equator intersections are indistinguishable once the ball is full marked. Every intersection has the same number of lines. The squares pattern really emphasizes this, because you do the same design on every intersection all around the ball until they touch.
Now that I’ve satisfied my self-obligation to be positive about why this design is intellectually interesting and worthy of being a JTA requirement, I feel I can also say this pattern is really BORING. Endless, endless squares. On and on, around and around, the stitch is exactly the same at all the corners… I grant you, I did run my needle under the beginning stitch of each round when I came back to it at the end so you can’t tell which corner was the starting point, but that was only interesting for about 3 rows of the first square.
I did my best. I tried to make the colors interesting, so maybe I can use it as a background ball for a complementary set or something eventually. Mostly, though, I’m just glad this one is done.