I’m not sure where I first heard about or saw temari. But a few years back, I, for short time, became obsessed.
Temari balls have their origin story in Japan, although have certainly spread throughout the world. This website will give you plenty of information and lots of beautiful photos if you are interested in going down a rabbit hole.
At the time, I acquired some books, watched some videos, purchased some basic supplies and off I went. At the center of a temari is a styrofoam ball covered in yarn that has been wrapped around it. On top of the yarn, you wrap another layer, this one of threads (sewing thread). If I’m remembering correctly, it takes nearly an entire spool of thread to sufficiently cover the yarn.
Then the fun begins!
The designs, mostly geometric in nature, seem to have endless variations. There’s a bit of math as you are marking your temari with pins, which are also used as support in some cases. The threads used on top can vary: I know I mostly was using DMC Perle 5 and that was really because it was a thread that was the right width/size and that I could easily get my hands on (i.e. buy at Michaels). But, in a couple of cases, I played with some other threads besides this perle.
Here are some of the temari I still have in my possession. There were also a handful that I made and gave away as gifts.
This one with was the others, clearly a temari that I began and then abandoned. I’m sharing here for you to see more clearly the wraps of thread and the beginning of planning the design. Note the use of pins for marking where the base thread needs to go.
Not surprisingly, there are a few books about temari on my bookshelf.
For those who love working with needle in hand and are interested in simply trying something different, I suggest you look into temari.