Friday, November 14, 2008

Some Temari balls I like!

I finally finished some temari balls I really like. This one is in my jewel-tone colors. The base is cone thread, the design is in DMC perle cotton, two plain and 1 variegated, in a chrysanthemum or "kiku" pattern. It is a simple 8 division. On this side the stitches over-lap each other.


On this side the two sets of herringbone stitches intertwine through each other. I love how even though the stitches are exactly the same on the two sides, the way you arrange the colors makes them look completely different. I like the color, the two sides balance well, and the stitching is improving. You will note that I very carefully did not take a picture head on so you cannot see the unevenness.


I like this one a lot too. This side has too much contrast, but the design is nice. The base is a sewing thread that is a lot springier than the cone thread I've been using, but I like the shininess. Again, the design is stitched in DMC perle. The two sides are the same pattern, a 5 point star (simple 10 division) but this one is stitched from the center out, overlapping all the stitches.


This one is stitched from the center out, but the stitches are intertwined. This side has 3 shades of purple, and the color works a lot better. The equator is just herringbone stitch.


I'm beginning to discover that these balls are as much about color and balance as they are about stitching skill. I have one more base to stitch, and then it's back to winding thread. Winding the bases has a quality of meditation about it. You have to watch that the ball is turning out round, and your hands are busy, but you can think about other things while you are doing it. There are still a dozen patterns I want to try out.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baby hat from China

I looked at the shoes again last night, and I think they are fake. I don't think they've ever been worn. The embroidery design (a bird with wings outstretched) is beautiful, but there are a couple of places where the design that was drawn on to the base fabric was not covered with embroidery.

This piece, however, I feel is real. It is a baby hat made by someone of the Miao people group of China. That is an ethnic group that lives right in the center of the country, one of the areas most affected by the earthquake several months ago. This is a picture of the crown. The white that you can see is a cord that has been couched down in the intricate designs. Inside the cord design there is embroidery. It's not a satin stitch, but it looks like it might be a stem or Romanian type of stitch. The loose thread you can see on the right is raveled; I think it was probably a tie to keep the hat on the baby's head.


This is a picture of the front. The pink fabric is quilted and very warm. It looks quite new. The embroidery is in slips that look a lot older, as if they had been re-used in different hats over time. They are edged with blanket stitch.


I got this piece from eBay.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

"Shoes" from China

This is a purchase I made on eBay some time ago. These are a pair of shoes, for a grown woman. They are less than 4 inches long! I've struggled with the size of my feet since I've been a teenager, and most department stores don't carry my size. (They're big!) In a culture that valued little feet, I would not have fit the profile of a desirable woman.


This is the footprint you would leave, if you could manage to walk in them. I can't tell if they've been worn or not.


I was in a hurry this morning, so I didn't look at them very carefully. I'll talk more about the stitching on them tomorrow.

This is our puppy! He went to see the doctor this past weekend to get shots (and petted) and he was a good boy, but he is over 40 pounds! We've only had him a couple of months and he's over twice as big as when we got him. He is a very smart puppy, and has been quite easy to train.


He is not happy with me, because I am making him wait for his supper.

Monday, November 10, 2008


This is the temari ball I had done last week. It is six interlocked squares, the white is DMC perle 5, the black is DMC metallic off a spool, and the base is cone thread. This is the one I think might need a little more detail, but I like it a lot.

The next two pictures are two sides of the same temari. Below is the rose pattern. It covers 1/2 the ball in 2 layers of stitching, which took forever. I wish I had only done 2 layers in each color, because the green ends up too close to the equator.


This is the other side of the same Temari. It isn't a wonderful match, one side is too dense, the other is too sparse.


We ended up traveling to visit my daughter at a craft show, and seeing grand kids (her niece & nephew) at the same time. This is my daughter's display, and her items are available here. We got some very fine hugs, making the trip worthwhile.


I was excited to see real pysanky (Ukrainian Easter Eggs), and I got a couple. I have some wooden ones, painted in the same style, when I traveled to Moscow, but these are real.


They look teeny-tiny next to my dressed Ostrich egg, but they can hold their own when it comes to beauty.