Tuesday, December 20, 2011

My one handmade gift.

I can finally show the one, secret, handmade gift I made this year.  I sent it off to my mom late last week, and she received it yesterday.

On the sideboard in my dining room, I have a bowl of temari balls I've made over the last couple years.  When my mom was visiting in the spring, she commented that she'd like to have a bowl of temari too.  Wish granted!

In the fall, she sent me a box of all her leftover bits of sock yarn.  I used those to wrap the inner styrofoam core of the balls.  Then I got two large spools of serger thread in colors I thought she'd like and wrapped the balls with thread.  In the past I've always used regular spools of sewing thread, two per ball.  I really like the serger thread because it comes on a cone that can stand up, and the yardage means I don't have to stop mid-ball to start a new spool.   The only downside is that the color selection is more limited.

yarn-wrapped cores and serger thread

thread-wrapped balls

poles and equator marked

I made her six balls of different styles and colors.  I'm a novice at temari, but I really enjoy doing it.  Each ball takes approximately 3 to 4 hours to complete.  For all of these balls, I divided the sphere into 4, 8 or 16 sections.  I haven't done a lot of experimenting with divisions of 5, 10, 6 or 12, but I'm hoping to in the future.

ball, perle cotton, pins, needle, metallic thread and sharp scissors

I love to give temari as a gift because as I make each ball, I'm constantly thinking of the person I'm making it for.  My understanding is that these are given in Japan at the new year as a good wish token for the year to come.

So here are the six balls I made.  I'm showing each one from two different angles - it's hard to see all of a temari at one time!

simple 8 division - improvised design

simple 8 division - rose garden with obi

simple 4 division - wrapped

combination 8 division - wrapped

simple 16 division - kiku with obi

combination 8 division, wrapped with interlocking tri-wings

Have you ever done temari?  Do you like it, or did you find it tedious?  


  1. Gail, these are awesome! They look like so much work, but the end result is amazing and they sure make for a super thoughtful gift. I'm sure your mother will cherish them.

  2. Your Mom's going to truly appreciate these, they're gorgeous ! !
    Thanks for the close-ups, Gail,
    I've not seen these before.
    Art Gems ! !

  3. Wow, this is the first time I've heard of temari - these balls are just awesome! Your Mom will love them!

  4. Thanks, Gerry and Carmela! I wasn't sure if people were familiar with them; maybe I should have put a little more explanation?

  5. I've never heard of them either, so I Googled them. These are so beautiful! What a lovely gift!

  6. Thanks, Ginger! I've been pinning lots of lovely examples on Pinterest, and there's a nice temari blog listed in the sidebar: Temari Train . . .

  7. You made my jaw drop ... these are amazing and, no, I've never heard of them. Yes, more details, please.

  8. Awww . . . thank you, Evelyn!

    I'll take step-by-step pix of the next one I do so you all can see how they're done.

    WARNING: they can be addictive!

  9. Strange, I could have sworn I commented on this post earlier today. Anyway, your mother is going to love these - they are so stunning. I'm especially in love with simple 4 division and simple 16 division. I remember seeing your pins on Pinterest and wondering if you made temaris.

  10. Thanks, Lizz! I was keeping them very secret!

  11. I have never heard of this. I look forward to your step by step. They are very beautiful, your mom will be thrilled!

  12. Wow, these look great! What a super idea for leftover sock yarn. I especially love the one that looks like a quilt design (rose garden with obi).

  13. Thanks, Karen! That was my first time doing the rose garden design, and I really enjoyed doing it!

  14. Gaaahhh! These look amazing! I've only ever done those 2 from the kit, and I'd love to do more at some point. I do find the yarn and thread wrapping to be tedious (maybe I need to delegate to my kids for part of it?), but I love doing the design itself. It's so gratifying to see it come together. Seeing all the ones that keep popping up from your Pinterest feed has sparked my interest to take it up again. Actually, though, my favorite one here is the top one you improvised. I love the interocking design at the equator and the subtle twist there. Can you show me how to do that?

  15. I've never done Temari but now I *really* want to! You had me at "leftover sock yarn" . . . off to check out your sidebar

  16. Thanks, Janet! I'm working on a series of posts showing it; hoping to get the first one up tomorrow or the next day :-)


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