Saturday, February 28, 2015

Let the chrysanthemums bloom!

  One of the most traditional of temari stitches is the kiku or chrysanthemum stitch. It's easy stitch to learn. Some stitches look easy to the uninitiated but turn out to be difficult because they need to be done very neatly to look good. The kiku stitch is quite forgiving but also allows for much experimentation for more advanced stitchers. Recently I have stitched several temari with this stitch.
   This blue ball uses a very standard kiku stitch on a simple 8 division.
I experimented with a more elaborate obi around the equator than I usually use.
Another temari features a design called Red Dahlia from Barbara Suess's book Temari Techniques. It uses a variation called the ribbed kiku herringbone. For once I picked colors similar to the ones that Barbara used.
I found it really interesting to see how different the two hemispheres look even though there are only slight changes in the colors I used in the last few rows.
On a larger ball (35 cm. circumference) I stitched a ball with a kiku of a very interesting shape. This design, Unfolding Kiku, is from Barbara Suess's Etsy store and sold as an instant download.
As usual, Barb's instructions are very clear. Being in a mood for purple, I used very different colors that she did.
  The final ball of this series was a stitch-along with the Yahoo Temari Challenge group.
This is a wonderful group to belong to if you stitch temari. Even when a stitch-along is finished, you can find the instructions in the file section.
   With all the variations one can do with kiku, I'm sure there are many more chrysanthemums in my future.