Temari Balls

At my Embroiderers Guild meeting this month we had mini workshops, four members volunteered to teach other members a skill. I put my name down for Temari balls, they have fascinated me for a while.

Temari balls are, I think, originally from Japan, they are tightly bound balls covered with intricate geometric designs made from thread. Unfortunately I didn’t take any photos during the workshop, so I’ll just have to tell you the process…

We started off with a sock, folded into a ball! We then bound it firmly with wool to make as perfect a ball as possible. I had misread the requirements so I didn’t have co-ordinating cotton thread to bind it with, this gives the ball it’s final base. I used embroidery thread instead, which made it rather pricy and didn’t cover perfectly but it’s all a learning curve!

Once we had a perfect ball we had to carefully mark with pins the north and south poles and then the equator, eventually dividing the ball into sixteen segments with lines of silver thread. This is quite an important bit as the final result depends on the accuracy of the segments. Mine’s not perfect but it was OK for the simple design we made.

To decorate the ball we started winding embroidery thread neatly along the segment lines and finally along the equator. This is where I was by the end of the workshop…

Temari Balls

At home I finished the central band and used another shade of embroidery thread to stitch two rows of herringbone stitch around the equator, trying to get the threads to lie as flat as possible.My temari ball was complete…

Temari balls

I’m pretty pleased with it for a first attempt, I’d like to have another go (they look very effective in a big bowl – like lots of them!!) I did pick up a book that was going free but the instructions look pretty complicated, I might get as far as marking the segments and take it to Embroiderers Guild for our member to give me some tips!

About craftycreeky

I live in a busy market town in Yorkshire with my husband, kids, dogs and chickens. I love trying new crafts, rediscovering old ones, gardening, walking...anything creative really I started this blog after my New Year resolution worked so well. My resolution (the first one I've ever kept!) was to post a photograph of my garden on Facebook every day. My hope was that I would then see what was good in the garden and not just weeds and work, which was my tendency. The unexpected side-effect was that I have enjoyed many more hours in the garden. I am hoping that 'The Crafty Creek' will have the same effect. Happy creating!
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14 Responses to Temari Balls

  1. CurlsnSkirls says:

    And this all started with a sock? Oh, my goodness!
    (Does your embroidery guild have a blog or ig? I’d love to follow it if they do. Thanks!)

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Deb says:

    That’s a lovely ball!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Very pretty!! You are having a “ball!”

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Amanda says:

    That is lovely! I made quite a few some years ago but I have given some away, they’re supposed to be gifted to a girl baby. The dog ate a couple too. I still have several of the cores made up and ready to go, perhaps you have inspired me!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. tialys says:

    What a great use for all those odd socks that seem to accumulate in the laundry basket.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    Very interesting. I can imagine that there are all sorts of patterns to make.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Sharon says:

    Fun workshop ~ looks like you had a ‘ball’ 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Jane M says:

    Would never know it started as a sock – very pretty

    Liked by 1 person

  9. claire93 says:

    incredible to think this began with a sock! I can imagine lots in xmasy colours hanging in the xmas tree ^^

    Liked by 1 person

  10. mandycurrie says:

    Hello Margaret, I love your temari ball. I always wondered what the base was made of and would never have dreamt it was a sock. What a great idea to have a go at. Thank you. Regards Mandy xx

    Liked by 1 person

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