Working on Small Mari (Teenies)
When working on smaller mari
("Teenies" have become to be known as about 1' diameter, and "Bitsies"
about 1/2") there are some things to bear in mind and adjust for. That
being said, most people are surprised that many traditional patterns can
be worked on such a small scale with very little adjusting. It's so much
fun to have a jar of teenies sitting there and watch peoples'
expressions as you pour them into their hands. Just like beads or
marbles, they are mesmerizing.
The regular techniques of
Temari making hold here, with a few adjustments. Dodai mari are still
made from scratch - small bits of
poly-fill work great,
as does a little wad of facial tissue. You can use a small bead or
marble inside if a little ballast is needed, but the same rules apply
about making versus keeping
a round base.
It does become important on
smaller mari that you use fine yarn as the under wrap or you will have
lumps that are unforgiving; thicker yarn will also "grow" the mari to
the point of being too large. Some crafters use only thread to wrap
teenies, and if you have a soft core with a thick thread wrap you will
have an adequate stitching surface. I personally still like using a fine
Marking can be a little
easier than it is on larger mari; most people find that they can work
simple divisions and 8 combination by eye with little difficulty on
smaller mari. 10 Combination still requires the traditional technique,
using a paper strip. Smaller pins such as sequin or applique pins fit
the need better if you are truly working a very small mari.
basic pattern can be used, but be advised that very intricate ones are
not in line for teenies. Thread gauge may need to be adjusted depending
on the design. Pearl #5 can still be used down to about a 1" mari but
you will need only 3 to 5 rows, give or take, for the whole design.
Using a finer thread such as Pearl #8 or #12, or one or several strands
of floss will allow you to work more rounds and achieve a higher
resolution in the design.
It is important to remember that
the smaller the mari, the more pronounced the rules of spherical
geometry become. This is especially important to remember when working
on mari of 16cm circumference (about 2 inches) or less. The
smaller ball has a much more pronounced curve than a larger one. That
means paying attention to mistakes - they will magnify greatly if not
corrected. Maki kagari
generally needs to be supported with additional stitches to hold it in
place, since more than 2 or 3 rows of wrapping begins to fall off the
curve. That being said, only your imagination will limit what you can do
with these little guys. They can also be a great way to use up smaller
lengths of thread when you don't have enough for a larger project.
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