Wednesday, January 4, 2012

TAST 2012 - week 1 - fly stitch (Take a Stitch Tuesday)

This year I'm taking part in the TAST 2012 Challenge — Take a Stitch Tuesday — being held on the blog Pin Tangle. Each week a new stitch will be introduced and anyone participating can learn it or if they already know it take it further; take a photo; then post a link to their photo on the Pin Tangle site.

Since everything I know about embroidery I learned from stitching temari, I know very little. Herringbone. Herringbone variations. Anything else? I'm not sure. So, this will really add to my vocabulary & tool box, so to speak.

While I expect most people participating will be stitching on more traditional materials, I am of course working on a temari. A temari "sampler." Last night I made the largest temari I've ever made — 3 cups of rice hulls in the center, whereas I usually range from ¾ to 1¼ cups. It's 13.625 inches / 34.5 cm in circumference; 4.33 inches / 11 cm. It's bigger than a soft ball. A little larger than a grapefruit. (And I'm considering this temari no. 85.)

I think stitching on a temari will present some unique challenges — there's no "back" of the canvas to access, it's curved, and the threadwrap comes into play a lot in how the threads are pulled by the stitches (or how the stitches are pulled by them). Especially on a temari this large a thread can end up over the end of a stitch, which you can see a little in my photos. I don't think this would be as much of an issue on a smaller temari, where the stitching area would be more convex.

Week 1
Fly Stitch

Gray: top - single fly stitches, and below is a stacked "branch" of them; top green: single stitches in an attempt to make a scale pattern; bottom green: the closed fly stitch, looks like [part of] a leaf.

plaited fly stitch

left: threaded fly stitch; right: whipped fly stitch

Finally, stacked stitches to make a little ferny thing.

Update, 9 January: Click to view my post about my completed "fly stitch" temari.


  1. Wow! I never saw this and I like it very much. It seems to be difficult to stitch on a ball.

  2. This is really different. I have no idea what the ball would be used for, but it will be quite decorative. Are you using curved needles?

  3. Hi Susan,
    If you look in the sidebar to the right, you can read a bit about temari (or look at finished work in the rest of my blog). They are a Japanese folk art — embroidered thread-wrapped spheres. I am using a large one as a "sampler" to learn the stitches that one day I could employ in future temari designs. I use regular straight embroidery needles.
    ~ kt

  4. What a very cool way to participate in TAST! Love the whipped and threaded versions.

  5. WOW! I have never seen this before. great idea.

  6. I love learning about new things and the temari was new to me. Very unique sampler.