Wednesday, 12 May 2010

C10 Project from Cosmo 6

This is the 49th post for 2010 which equals the number of posts for entire year in 2009. Only 2 more posts to make 100 altogether. How did I find so much to write about? Because this post is special I decided to post something a bit different.

I have decided on my next temari project.  It is a C10 from Cosmo 6. It is pictured as number 4 on page 25 (pattern on P26/27).  It is on my temari to do list - so I am glad to be reducing this long, long list.  The first job to do even before making the base is to try to establish how to stitch the temari.  In this case what the pattern is saying.  Sometimes a temari can be reverse engineered (worked) from just a photo (often there is no pattern when we see a temari we want to make so it is our only option).

If you have never seen a Japanese pattern before this is what it looks like. Now I don't speak, read or write Japanese fluently. In fact I only know just enough to get me into and occasionally out of trouble. But even with my basic understanding I can gain a lot of information from 'reading' this pattern. First off the text runs right to left top to bottom when printed vertically. When printed horizontally it reads left to right the same as English. Members of Temari Challenge have access to a nice English/Japanese conversion sheet for common terms.  There is also something similar on the Temarikai website but it is a little more difficult to read. Sometimes I even use google translate to type in English words I think the printed text might mean and see if I can find the same kanji in the translations offered.

Straight away I can see from the larger text the name of the pattern (flower and star - it is just lucky I know these particular symbols: first symbol is 'flower', the middle one is 'and' or 'with' and the last one is hoshi which means 'star') and under the name is reference to the page number (25) where the colour image can be found in the book.  From the text under the picture I can see it is a C10 division. Sometimes you can easily tell the division from the picture alone - but not always.

The first line of text (I mean the far line just to the left of the picture) tells me the circumference (33cm) and diameter (10.5cm) of the base mari. The usual size of temari that I gravitate to (what feels comfortable in my hands) is between 24 and 26 cms so all the blanks I made last week are too small. Thankfully I had one a little larger (28cm) that was still wrapped in wool so I added on a few more cms and got it up to 34cm - but then it actually ended up at 31.5cm as I think I was a bit stressed when I wrapped the final thread layer so it is a little firmer and more compacted than usual. This means I will need to adjust the number of rows I will use.

The second sentence tells about the thread wrap colour.  It is a Cosmo brand thread in white.

The third sentence tells me that there are 4 Cosmo perle 5 stitching thread colours used. The colours being pink tones from light to dark 206, 204, 112, and 111. Also a gold metallic thread is used. I plan to use 4 blues on a white ball with silver.

The next section of text relates to Jiwari (marking lines) and Kagari (stitching) directions.
[1] Says to mark the mari into C10 with Gold thread.
[2] Says in the 6 part triangle add extra marking lines to make a total of 12 lines. Extend the lines into the pentagon areas so they end near the short lines out of this center. The place to aim for seems to be 1/2 way along the short lines from the pentagon centers.
Now this is where it can go a bit pear shaped - translation wise. So what follows is my best estimate of what is written in Japanese.  This is a bit harder because my computer has lost it's ability to use Japanese characters since it was repaired - so no easy google translations unfortunately.

[3] Goes on to describe measuring a 1/2 mark on the added lines of the 6 part triangles and stitching around the path of 6 points starting at the point that looks like a sloped T and to the right around the points back to it. This forms a hexagon. 3 rows of pink in the lightest colour then 4 rows of the next lightest colour. Repeat steps 2-3 until 20 hexagon shapes on the ball are completed. Now I am not sure if it says to continue until all the hexagon stitching is done OR if you should stop here and come back to finish it after stitching the flower shapes. I am being honest here. My feeling is to come back to it but it doesn't seem logical to do that. Also it would involve weaving under the flower shapes to complete the hexagons.  ***
[4] In the 12 pentagon areas stitch 2 rows of pink followed by 1 row of gold. Start about 0.2cm from where the added lines on the 6 part triangle join the short lines from the pentagon.
[5] Starting on the inside edge of a pentagon side kiku stitch a 6 point flower over the top of the hexagon areas.  Inside points should be about 0.3cm from the hexagon pole. So that is the jist of the first sentence, but I can't make out the next 2 apart from the talk about the flower being stitched with 2 rows of darkest pink and one row of gold. There is a lot of Kanji text here that I can't read and I am sure the key to the whole pattern must be in this section.
[6] Inside the pentagons add some small stitches to the center in gold thread.

So here is the summary from the second picture near right of diagram:
On the 20 Hexagon shapes stitch:
3 rows lightest pink then
4 rows of light/medium pink then
4 rows of medium/dark pink then
1 row of darkest pink.

On the 12 Pentagon shapes stitch:
2 rows of darkest pink then
1 row of gold

On top of the hexagon shapes stitch:
Using kiku herringbone stitch
2 rows of darkest pink then
1 row of gold

Inside the center of the pentagons add extra gold stitches near the pole to create flower centers.

*** My plan is to completely stitch the hex and pent shapes then do the flower shapes on top. This will mean I will need to open up a gap in the 2nd and 3rd colours of pink in hex's to layer the meeting points on the kikus.
Here is my progress shot. I am using blue tones.  Don't look too carefully or you'll see how dodgy my uneven marking is and of course as I am practicing with this one the colours I chose are a bit off... the light blue is too light, dark blue is ok, but the two medium shades are too close in value to be seen in the photo. I am not being too fussy because this is about working out the pattern. The next time I make this I will ensure all these points are better taken care of.

Generally I do ok, when I can I humbly ask my SIL to glance over the Japanese pattern and then I suggest what I think it means.  She usually needs to give me several corrections... usually the points I miss are vital to the outcome.  Such is life.

Such is life is an Aussie expression which is used when expressing the acceptance of a frustrating circumstance. Usually said in a sighing tone. It is believed that these were the last words of  Australia's most famous bushranger Ned Kelly who was hanged at 10 o'clock on the 11th November 1880, at the Old Melbourne Gaol. His last words before he was executed were, "I guess it has come to this." and shortly after "Such is Life."


  1. Hi Rebecca
    I was happy to see that you were going to decipher this pattern, it's on my to do list too.
    I was wondering what is a SIL?
    Thanks again
    Pat s.

  2. Hi Pat,
    This is a lovely pattern. I am still 1/2way through it. Not too much time to stitch this week.

    SIL = Sister In Law. Shorthand language is such a pain. I figure if I know it everyone must (I am usually the last to know these things) and once I know it my lazy side wants to use it all the time. :)