Japanese Inspired Temari Easter Eggs #3


Yup! My Temari inspired Easter Eggs are already hanging on my Easter Tree!

This is part three of a three part series. You will fine the others here and here.

Again, don't be put off by the size of this tutorial.  I just wanted to be certain that all the information you need is here for you. No need to be afraid!  This is very EASY to do.

Traditional Temari design usually begins with wrapping guidelines around your ball - or in this case egg.

The blue/green wrap on the pink egg was designed so that the guideline not only remained on the egg but became invisible as part of the pattern.


In this post we will explore a way to make your guidelines removable so that your eggs will appear very clever indeed!

In traditional Japanese Temari the guidelines are left in place as a subtle part of the overall design. But I wanted them gone so my woven design would appear to simply float on the threads. And look more like an Easter Egg!

However, if you prefer, you could choose floss that matches your wrapping thread and leave the guidelines in place.  If you choose to do this, anchor your guideliness in the thread layer instead of anchoring them with pins.

So grab an egg you have wrapped in thread using Diane's tutorial, grab some pretty perle cotton embroidery thread, some pins and a needle and lets get started.


Note: A little reminder if you missed the last post - the smaller end of the egg is the "north pole", the larger end of the egg is the "south pole", and an imaginary line around the circumference half way between the two is the "equator".

To begin, measure a piece of embroidery floss that is long enough to wrap completely around your egg 8 times plus 12". For my egg which is about the size of a goose egg, the guideline floss is approximately 84" (256 cm).

Place a pin through the yarn about a half inch (1 cm) from one end and then stick the pin into the egg right at the center of the north pole.

NOTE: Traditional Temari employs some complicated measuring. We are going to use the old eyeball method here. It actually works pretty well. But for it to work well, it is especially important that you place the pins at the poles as close as possible to the very center.

Once you have placed your north pin in the egg, you will want to rotate the egg and look at the pin from all directions, shifting the pin slightly as necessary so that it appears to be right at the very top from all directions.


Wrap the guideline floss around the egg from the north pole to the south pole and back to the north to divide the egg into two halves. Make them as equal as you can.

Then pivot around the north pole pin 90 degrees and head back to the south!


Return to the north pin. Your egg is now divided into fourths. Again, using the old eyeball method, try to make the divisions as even as possible.


Now, using the same method, divide the egg into eights. Once you have adjusted your wraps to where you want them, anchor your guideline thread at the north pole by winding it several times around the north pole pin.

Tip: An additional pin placed close by through the thread will help keep it from unwinding.


Place a pin through all the overlapping floss guidelines at the south pole to keep them in place.


Now measure and mark the equator.

The easiest way for me is to stick a pin into the egg at a point that appears to my old eyeball to be half way between the poles. Then I make a loop in a piece of floss placing the loop end over the equator pin as shown.

A quick pivot to the south will tell you just how accurate you are! Unless you are off a quarter of an inch or more, I wouldn't worry about adjusting further.


Now place an equator pin through every division floss around the egg. You can eyeball this or measure - your choice. You already know which method I used!

If you look near the north pole, you will see both the little extra tack pin and you will see a pin near the pole piercing one of the floss guidelines. I used this second pin to help me keep track of the beginning and end of each row of the design weave.


Now you are ready to place the markers for the top and bottom points of your design.

Place a pin just above the equator pin on the guideline you marked as "start". Now place pins on every other guideline around the ball - four in all. The distance between the new pin and equator pin will determine the width of your design. In my case my pins are placed approximately 3/4 inch (2cm) apart.

Place four more pins below the equator at the same distance but on alternating guidelines.

NOTE: Once you get the hang of weaving the thread balls, you can change these pin placements to create all manner of interesting designs - I think you will be able to see the possibilities as soon as you have completed an egg of your own. P1100160

Now we are ready to begin the design.


Cut a piece of floss about 24 to 30 inches in length. Anchor your floss in the thread layer following the instructions in Diane's tutorial. I left a little bit showing here so you could see where the knot is hiding!

Bring your needle out of the thread layer just below the first upper marker pin and to the LEFT of the guideline.

To make things simple, I have created this set of diagrams below for you to follow.

Take note of the sequence of stitches and placement of the floss tail in relationship to the needle. This is important because you will always want every long floss stitch to fall on top of the previous long floss stitch.








And here are a couple shots on the egg itself


Hints and Reminders

You may find it helpful to pull the pins out of the egg slightly at the top and bottom points of your design so that it is easier to see the guideline.

The pins below the equator are not in play at any point in making the design. They are really only markers for the bottom of your design helping you to gage where you might want to change floss colors.

Always keep in mind that at each point on the guideline, you will enter the thread layer on the RIGHT side of the guideline and exit on the LEFT side.

Always move toward the right (counter clockwise).

Make sure as you weave that you always place your working floss OVER THE TOP of the previous stitch.

Be sure you do not catch your guideline in the stitch. The tiny guideline stitch should go under the guideline through the thread layer.

Pull your thread so that it is firm but not exerting pressure on the guideline and causing it to shift.


Begin your second row of floss.

As you can see in the photo, the next row of design stitches is placed just below the previous stitches.

Each row of the design will be stitched just below the previous row. Keep the rows as close together as you can without overlapping.


And after a few rows your design will start to look like this!

Change colors if you wish, just make sure your start and end a new color at the "start" guideline..

After several rows have been worked, you will see a pretty little pattern appearing at the top point of your design.


As you near the equator, you may want to remove the equator pins as they will begin to be in your way as you approach them. The pins below the equator will help keep you on track as to the width of your design and when to stop.


Once your design is completed, end your final yarn in the thread layer. then remove the design pins.


Now remove the north and south pins and begin gently pulling at the guideline yarn. You will start pulling the end that was wrapped around the north pin.

You should be able to pull the entire guideline out of your design in one piece and use it again.


If you were very good and didn't catch the guideline in any of your stitches, the guideline will slide right out.

If, like me, you caught a bit of the guideline here and there, simply pull it as far as it will go and then carefully clip with scissors just under the floss design.


You are done! - unless of course you want to add some embellishments or accents.


I used some straight stitches to create this little burst design at both ends.

P1100236 And added a loop so I could hang mine on my Easter Tree.

Keep in mind that any of the techniques taught in this series will translate beautifully to round balls for Christmas ornaments.  And they make beautiful gifts.

You can find more ideas for embellishing (Christmas balls or eggs) here.

And check out this tutorial for adding shisha embroidery and even jewels to thread wrapped eggs.

Happy Easter!

OK - so I'm working on making

OK - so I'm working on making the thread balls and my thread keeps slipping off the sides. Of course, this mainly happens 10-20 winds later so I have to unwind most of it. Does anyone have any tips on preventing this? I finished one egg, but the thread is STILL slipping off. What am I doing wrong?
Thanks for your help!

Dear Melody, this happens to

Dear Melody, this happens to everyone!  So a couple things - first if your thread is falling off your completed ball you may have missed the step in Diane's tutorial instructing you to make little tacks all over the surface to hold the threads in place once winding is completed. You may want to review her tutorial which is linked in the text above, but I have copied the part that speaks specifically to your question below.

"When you've covered the ball completely in thread, cut it, leaving a strand about the length of your arm hanging from the ball. Thread the end of this strand onto a needle - the other end should still be attached to the ball. Then, use the needle to make a series of large stitches all over the ball, in all directions. These stitches will anchor the thread to the ball.

Stitch until you run out of thread, and then cut the end close to the ball."

I have also found that winding the egg shape is a little more problematic than a sphere and it is important to use styrofoam to catch and hold the initial threads and change direction of the winding thread constantly and wind the thread on the ball quite tightly.  If you are still not able to prevent the threads from falling off during winding, you may wish to tack them once or twice during the winding process. 

My  threads do not slip when I am winding around the equator or from pole to pole, it is only when I wind the thread at oblique angles - like 10:00 o"clock to 4:00 o'clock that it gets harder to keep the thread in place so it is important to pay attention and follow this wind with an equator wind.  With practice and observation, you will learn which winding angles do not work well and which do but keep in mind it is important to always wind snuggly.

Changing directions and covering different surfaces of the egg with each wind seems to work best. But if you are still having problems, stop and tack your work and then continue.

My worst problem is toward the end of the winding process - the ball becomes slippery and frequently pops out of my hands and rolls across the floor. :-(.

I hope this helps you.


I peep a sparkling star ...

I peep a sparkling star ... ;) xoxo!

I am in AWE of your

I am in AWE of your amazingness Pam. I mean wow!

I have always been very

I have always been very impressed with those that make any type of Temari projects. They look so detailed and difficult. I have watched many videos on how to make Temari balls but they still seem complicated. Like anything else it's just one step at a time. I'm sure if I tried making one (or more) I would find that they aren't as difficult as I imagine them to be.

I love your temari style

I love your temari style eggs! Nicely done :)

Wow-- These are gorgeous!

Wow-- These are gorgeous! Great tutorial. I've always wanted to try temari -- must be in the blood! :-)

Wow, what a beautiful design!

Wow, what a beautiful design!