Friday, November 7, 2008

Just a little chat.

No pictures today. I have one new Temari ball to share, but I'm not sure if I want to add some embroidery to it yet, or not. I'll show it next time, finished or not. I also have three more blanks prepared, 2 large, and one teeny, tiny.

I also wanted to thank arghc for the comment, the book by Lydia Chen is the one I have, and as you noted, if her information is faulty, so is mine. If you know of any web-sites with more accurate naming information, that would be wonderful!

In looking in the aforementioned book last night for the butterfly knot from yesterday, it looks like it is a shaped variant of the Pan Chang knot. All the knots in that book are lovely, and Ms. Chen shows several of them used as a brooch. So many ideas, so little time!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Thimble Tursday and more knots

I don't have any more thimbles from China, but these are two from that part of the world. The white one is from Singapore, and the green one is from Malaysia. They are porcelain and cloisonne, respectively.


When I was looking around my office this morning, wondering what to talk about, my eyes lit on my tissue holder: it has knots on it too! They are Pan Chang good luck knots also, and the fabric has the characters for the same sentiment as well. This holder is just a tube of fabric with a slit in it, and the tube is closed on the ends with Velcro so you can slip the tissue box inside. I really like it, but I'm so familiar with it that I don't always see it.


Another thing in my office that I don't always see is this knot. I was pretty sure there were different knots on decorative items around here, but when I went looking I could only find the Pan Chang knot, even though this one is just above eye level in my cubicle. I will have to look up what kind of knot it is. (The book I have is very comprehensive, and I'm pretty sure I will be able to tell.)


I have a couple of embroidered items from China; I think I will talk about them next.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Knotted Turtles

These two little guys are one of my treasures. Several years ago, one of our staff members was visiting from Taiwan for meetings. He had brought his wife, and she spent her days in the lunch-room doing something with her hands. I went to talk to her, and she was making these little green and red turtles out of satin cord. I was so excited to see these, and she was very happy to show me what she was doing. You start at the head, adding in the hardware for the key chain right away. The top and the bottom are the same pattern, but the top has an additional cord which turns it into a tiny cup shape. The legs and the tail are loops of the cord, and the ends all get tucked inside and glued.


This is a picture of the bottom of the turtles; without the extra cord the knots turn out perfectly flat. The little bell is attached to the tail. I didn't put the little plastic googly eyes on mine.


The two of us had a wonderful time together, even though she spoke little English and I spoke no Chinese. I would love to have asked how long she had been making these and if she knew any other patterns, who she learned it from, and who else she has taught. It was like a glimpse through a door into another world of textile arts that I couldn't get into.

I drew out the knot on a scrap of paper, and I run across it occasionally, but I don't know if I could remember how to make them. I have a book of Chinese knots, but most of them are traditional and abstract. No turtles!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Pan Chang good luck knot

When I looked up the name of this knot, I discovered it is the "good luck" knot, which explains why it is on everything around the office. This one is from a Chinese New Year decoration, featuring fish.


This one features a giant peach; I think it is for spring or summer, but I don't remember.


This one is several years old, but was prepared for the Beijing Olympics. I can't tell how the rings are connected. It is beginning to fade, but it is an indication of how proud the Chinese people were to have the opportunity to host the Olympics.


I have one more example of a Chinese/Taiwanese craft that involves knotting. I will try to post that next.

I got my Temari book last night, and it is as good as I was hoping. I'm very relieved also, the author, Barbara B. Suess says that if your stitching is not as even as you would like, you should just add more embellishment, and no one will notice. My kind of teacher!

I did discover my mistake on the yellow/green Temari, and I think I will take out the mistake if I can, and all the stitching if I have to, and start over. I like the pattern so much that I really want it to turn out.

DH informs me that I should use his camera to take close-up pictures. Of course, they would be much better quality, but that would involve a lot more planning to download, which would of course mean that my posts would be more infrequent. I think I will just have to try to do a better job with my camera, for now.

OT, I tried to vote this morning, and the voting machines in my precinct were not set up right. I clicked through the ballot, expecting the rest of the choices to appear, and they did not. I was only able to vote for the Federal choices, nothing on the state or county level. I was not allowed to go back and correct it either, I've been disenfranchised, and I'm furious about it. Of course, when I'm mad I cry, which is not at all helpful. I'm spreading the word as far and wide as I can so this information will not be hidden. I was the 30th person to vote at my precinct. and I think everyone who voted before me had the same truncated ballot.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Chinese Knots and Temari

This is the closure on my Chinese jacket. I took the picture in the mirror, which is why it looks washed out. I've been looking around the office, and almost everything meant for Chinese people comes adorned with knots made in satin cord. The closure on my jacket is from cotton cord, but it is for use, not for show. Anything for display will have red satin.


This is a plaque on the wall. The knot looks like a butterfly, but it is a square 2 layer knot. I will tell you next time the name of the knot; I will have to write it down to remember.


I have been playing with Temari this weekend. I tried an intermediate design, and botched it. This pattern is based on a C8 (complex 8) division, and is stitched with DMC perle cotton. The base is wrapped in cone thread. It's very pretty, but the weaving pattern is messed up, and it is not symmetrical at all. So I decided to back up a little bit.


I am very pleased with this one, and I want to explore this pattern a lot more. I apologize for the quality of the picture, I was trying to get too close. This is a chrysanthemum pattern. It was a lot of fun, and very forgiving of my inexact S12 division. It is stitched with DMC perle and metallic threads. This is the base my sister made for me last Saturday.


This is a S4 division; the squares are supposed to grow together, meeting at the corners, and leaving perfect triangles between them. Well, I got tired of stitching the squares, I wasn't too happy with the yellow, and the corners were not going to meet, so I stopped and drew in the triangles with DMC metallic. The yellow is DMC perle, the variegated is dyed by Laura Wasilowski. The color changes are too frequent for this use. The base is cone thread.


Now, though, I'm determined to get this done right. When my new book gets here, I'm going to work through it, and get to be good enough so I won't have to apologize for my mistakes. Besides, it's fun!