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Posts Tagged ‘C8 division’

I actually made this temari (quite) a while ago, inspired by the forsythia that were blooming at the time, but they were gone before the temari was finished, and then I kept putting off photographing it until I could get a sprig. Now that spring has finally rolled around again, I remembered!

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(Yes, yes, I know forsythia have four petals, but work with me here. I was experimenting with trying something unique with interweaving offset spindles.)

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Temari: Tyrian Red

This weekend’s temari class was focusing on the basic kiku (chrysanthemum) stitch, my favorite. Of course, it turns out I’ve sold almost all of my C8 chrysanthemum balls, so I needed to make a new one to take with me. I had one with the standard kiku stitch, so I decided this one could use ribbed kiku, my recent most favorite version of my favorite stitch.

Here’s how it turned out:

Chrysanthemum face

Chrysanthemum face

My biggest challenge with this temari was to figure out what to name it. This started me down a Wikipedia rabbit hole of color names in the red family, which led me to the article on Tyrian purple/red, and I just couldn’t resist. The color is spot on for the darkest shade I used, and the history of the color is fantastically weird. (You should go read it!) Then my friend Melissa pointed out there is actually a chrysanthemum called “Tyrian,” so it seemed meant to be.

Triwing "leaf" face

Triwing “leaf” face

This actually uses the same palette I used for Luna of the Roses and I like the way changing the background color and accent color influences the overall feeling of the piece. Next week’s class is the rose garden stitch, so I think the two balls together will make a good demo pair to illustrate the differences in these two main floral themes.

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A break from travel pictures (though I did get some good ones while I was in MI last week!) to post the final temari I made as a teaching demo for June’s C8 classes.

Variegated teal mitsubishi

Variegated teal mitsubishi

I’ve done the mitsubishi pattern before, but that time I didn’t feel like the diamonds showed up as well as they could have because the contrasting color wasn’t on the very outside edge. This time, I decided to use the same colors I had for the squares pattern I had to do for the Level 1 JTA certification, because I figured it would highlight how both patterns use the same number of faces on the ball (6), and the same basic stitch (squares), but to very different effect. I feel like saving one last row of the variegated to do the outlining highlights the diamonds nicely, and still gives some interest without looking too jarring when looking at the open square face rather than the diamonds face.

Diamonds formed by overlapping squares.

Diamonds formed by overlapping squares.

Here’s a shot with the squares ball, as well as the teal asa no ha I did a few months ago.

Teals, sparkles, a variety of 6-face designs

Teals, sparkles, a variety of 6-face designs

And now a short PSA: It’s time to sign up for temari classes, if you are so inclined! The summer quarter (July-September) classes are up at Thimble Pleasures right now, and I have classes running in both August and September. You can see my Temari Classes page for full details and links to how to sign up at the shop, but here are the basics:

Beginner Basics: Sundays, (August 3, 10, 17). This class will cover my favorite three introductory designs: wrapped bands (along with instruction on how to make and mark a basic S4), spindles (S4), and triwing (S6).

Exploring C8 Designs: Intermediate Beginner Temari: Sundays, (September 7, 14, 21). This class will concentrate on floral designs on the C8 division. The first class will cover outlining designs for the square faces; the second will use those completed outlines to fill in the faces with kiku-stitch flowers (of which there are a large variety of possibilities); and the third class will cover the rose garden design.

I hope to see some of you there!

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As I’m sure is no surprise to anyone who has read this blog, I am a fan of the author Seanan McGuire. Beyond the fact that I find all her writing delightful, one of the things that really gets me is her ability to write description. Something about the way she manages to evoke pictures in my mind, particularly with colors, just speaks directly to the way my brain works.

As it turns out, this can be really distracting! I was only a chapter or two into her latest release, Sparrow Hill Road, when I noticed I hadn’t taken in the last several sentences because my mind had become busy designing a temari. (Two obsessions in one!) To understand the design, a bit of background about the main character of Sparrow Hill Road (from the website description of the book):

Everyone knows the urban legend about the girl who asks for a ride home; the one who turns out to have been dead all along. But where did she come from? Who was she? And how did she die? She’s been called a lot of things: the Phantom Prom Date, the Girl in the Diner, and the Spirit of Sparrow Hill Road. Around here, we call her Rose.

Rose Marshall was sixteen years old in 1952, pretty as a picture, and in the wrong place at the wrong time. A drive along Sparrow Hill Road turned into a fight for her life—a fight she was destined to lose. Her story could have ended there, but a lucky break and a well-timed ride home set her on a different path. She’s been running down the ghostroads ever since, one more casualty who never made it home.

Color-wise, Rose spends a lot of time on the ghostroads, where I retain an overwhelming impression of gray fog. She died in her prom dress, a green silk gown. And roads, especially ones where accidents will occur, run through her afterlife and give her purpose. For my temari, that translated into a fog-colored, light gray background; wrapped bands in black with yellow center lines and white outlines, like a highway; and green silk roses, fading at the edges like a ghost.

Here was the original plan I had to stop and draw in my planner, since I wasn’t at home at the time and couldn’t start working on the temari right away:

Original plan

Original plan

The next step was to go to the needlepoint store and pick thread. I originally thought I’d just do the roads in regular perle cotton and the roses in silk, but since I had a gift certificate to the store that my mother-in-law had given me for Christmas, I let myself look at all the specialty thread as well, and the project got a lot fancier. I found this really interesting Caron thread called “Snow,” which they describe as “a synthetic metallic thread,” and which, to me, in the black color looked a lot like slick wet pavement. (Remember what I said about Rose being drawn to accidents?) For the middle line of the road, I decided on a yellow silk lamé braid, because clearly the sparkly bits would be the center reflectors, and for the outer white lines, I got white silk lamé braid that GLOWS IN THE DARK!

All the supplies together

All the supplies together

(Excuse some of the color weirdness of these initial pictures; I ended up taking most of the progress pics with my phone.)

Now I could finally get started!

Marking lines

Marking lines

The main C8 marking lines were done in yellow, to be the center lines of the road-bands, and then support lines were added in a Kreinik black-and-silver metallic braid to allow the roses to be stitched over top later. (Normally, support lines would be stitched over/around the main lines, but I didn’t want the yellow lines interrupted by the black/silver, so I wove the stitches underneath the original C8 lines.)

Now the roads!

Crossroads

Crossroads

Honestly, just that stage looked pretty good. (Sadly, I have not figured out a good way to photograph the glowing effect of the white lines, so you’ll have to take my word for it that they really do glow in the dark.) The power of the crossroads ends up being pretty important in the book, so interwoven wrapped bands seemed appropriate.

Now the roses. This was my first try, featuring a standard rose garden technique, where each alternating square is the next gradation of color:

Rose garden, traditional fade

Rose garden, traditional fade

I wasn’t totally satisfied with that, though, because the lightest color used on the outside becomes so overwhelming. (These roses end up being a bit bigger than in a normal rose garden design, because stitching them around the intersecting road-bands causes them to start with a larger center; hence, wider and more overwhelming outside squares of color.) So I decided to take a few rows of the darker colors and repeat their fade within the widest band:

Improved rose with additional gradations

Improved rose with additional gradations

(Also, it’s pretty subtle, so I’m not sure anyone but me would notice, but the rows used to outline the different squares of the roses go from black to dark gray to light gray, fading as the greens fade.)

Some more shots of the roses and roads:

Triangle intersection view

Triangle intersection view

Diamond intersection view

Diamond intersection view

And glamor shots with the book:

Roses on Rose's story

Roses on Rose’s story

This last one shows the cover more clearly, and I was pleased to note the greens I had chosen were pretty close to the one used for her blouse. Note that her feet fade out before they really touch the ground.

The girl in the green silk gown

The girl in the green silk gown

So that’s been my big project lately. I’m pleased to have it out of my head and into the world! Also, if you like the temari and haven’t read the book yet, check it out! It should make the temari make even more sense. (This book is technically in the InCryptid series universe, but its story stands alone, so anyone can pick it up anytime.)

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More from my C8 explorations. No new techniques in this temari, but I like it as an example of how changing the color palette can really change the overall feeling of the piece. My previous asa no ha post shows a rather soothing teal ball with a pale, sparkly thread. And I like that one, very much. But there’s a reason I named the temari I made on Sunday as the demo ball for the class I was teaching “Awake!”

Awake!

Awake!

Very different feeling, yes? One of my students kept asking if I was using special fluorescent thread. Nope! Same shade of orange/dark coral I used on pair of temari in the last post (and in the last picture below). The high contrast with purple background just makes it stand out that much more.

Anyway, I took a bunch of staged “glamor” shots to get ready to post things on Etsy, and I liked how they turned out, so I wanted to share.

Purple and orange pair

Purple and orange pair

Our yard gets too much shade for all our summer flowers to be blooming yet, but I managed to get a few early cone flowers and some salvia to use as accents.

Morning Person and Awake!

Morning Person and Awake!

Are you feeling more energized now?

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This month, I’m teaching a series of temari classes at the local quilt store that are intended to help the students become familiar with and start to explore the C8 division. The C8 is usually considered an intermediate-beginner division, because it is a step up from simple divisions, but is an easy step to take and keeps the relationship between the S8 and C8 pretty clear. However, I confess that part of the reason I wanted to teach this class series is because, once I discovered the secret to fast and easy C10 markings, I basically stopped paying any attention to C8s, and I wanted to push myself to explore more of the possibilities as well.

Last week’s class was on interwoven wrapped bands. I’ve done this on C10s before (example here), and don’t consider the weaving to be that hard of an extra step to add, especially since doing so makes even the simplest bands look far more complicated when finished. Because I wanted my students to be able to really see what I was doing, though, I chose four different, high-contrast colors, one for each band passing through the eight-way intersection square face.

Very bright wrapped bands

Very bright wrapped bands

I ended up pleased with it in the end, but as I was finishing it up that night after class, I realized that there’s a reason this design is usually done with all the bands being the same color on a C8: There are actually NINE bands to be wrapped, so no even number of colors can be perfectly distributed. Hence, I have one extra band of green, and let me tell you the mental distress this caused initially. My student who also tried using four different colors put the color that needed three bands through the same triangle face, but I was trying to get them more randomly distributed, so I ended up with multiple triangles with two green bands and one other color (as you can see above, lower right corner.) If I were to do it again, I think I’d go my student’s route, since I know now that the one extra line will be inevitable.

There is, however, a C8 pattern that lets you use a set of colors symmetrically with bands, sometimes referred to as “Belts and Buckles” in English. This pattern involves interweaving bands in three different colors across the 6-part triangle faces instead of the 8-part squares.

Triangle face "belts" intersection

Triangle face “belts” intersection

In the middle of the 8-part squares, you get the two bands of the same color intersecting, and then still have four supporting marking lines left, which are used to create the “buckles.” The buckle squares also weave through the belt bands, but in the opposite order. (So, for example, if the bands were woven in an over-under pattern where they intersect, the squares weave under-over on those same lines.)

"Buckle" square with opposing weave order.

“Buckle” square with opposing weave order.

I was trying to make the bands on the second ball the same width as on the first ball, to highlight how similar the two patterns are, but I think the extra open space left by the, er, naked marking lines calls for thicker bands for better balance. Still, this version of Belts & Buckles turned out better than my first attempt, which failed largely due to colors that didn’t have enough contrast.

Here’s both temari together. I joked on Twitter that I might name the wrapped bands ball “Morning Person,” because the colors are so obnoxiously cheerful. They’ve offered a fun exploration, in any case.

Bands, Belts, Buckles

Bands, Belts, Buckles

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I’m exploring C8 temari designs right now to try to pick good ones to teach for some classes in June. I realized that my only C8 asanoha* (flax/hemp leaf) design was sold at the craft fair back in November, so I needed to make another one. I was pretty pleased with how it turned out.

Staged glamor shot!

Staged glamor shot!

I’m not sure you can really tell from these pictures, but the design thread used is silk lamé braid, so there is some sparkle to it in person.

By itself

By itself

Another view of the previous ball, at the craft fair

Another view of the previous ball, at the craft fair

*Language nerd note: To my mind, the name of this pattern should be written “asa no ha” because the grammatical construction being used is basically “the leaf of the plant,” but all the Japanese design books in English seem to have decided to write it all together as one word, so for consistency’s sake, that’s what I’m doing. But it bothers me.

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