Back Page Winter 2014

 On the Back Page of the Winter 2014 issue of Interweave Crochet, you'll find a curious critter looking back at you. This garden bandit is just a bit of the flora and fauna that fills the crocheted creation called Summer Visitors, imagined and executed by Sachiko Adams.


The raccoon is Sachiko's favorite critter. Ours, too.

Sachiko says: Raccoons are mischievous and I was trying to show that behavior. We had a nice porcelain bird bath that was broken by, we think, a raccoon. I imagined how the raccoon might climb on the bird bath. 😉

I wanted to simulate water reflecting the light of the sun, Sachiko says. So she worked silvery ripples in Coats & Clark Metallic sewing thread.

Here's the bandit from the back. (btw, he's worked in Lizbeth Handy Hands Tatting Thread and Guitermann Silk Thread.)

To give you an idea of the scale and scope of Sachiko's fabulous creation, here it is next to the two ribbons it won at the 2014 Crochet Guild of America Design Competition.

It was awarded First Prize in the Artistic Expressions category (sponsored by Jenny King Designs). And it is the winner of the 2013 Founders Prize, sponsored by CGOA founder Gwen Blakley Kinsler.

(To see Sachiko's second-place prize in 2012 for Cat Tree, see Doris Chan's blog.)

(And to see a full list of winners in the CGOA 2013 design competition, visit Doris Chan's blog.)

The Founders Prize is awarded to the the entry that best exemplifies the spirit of CGOA, sponsored by CGOA founder Gwen Blakley Kinsler.

In Gwen's absence, Tammy Hildebrand awarded the prize, saying: "Summer Visitors captures the true spirit of what CGOA represents and the significance of the Founders Award.  Filled with whimsical creatures and worked with incredible attention to detail, down to the individual leaves and petals, and fish in the teeny pond, this piece brings a feeling of happy wonderment to all who see it."

As one of the judges in the CGOA design competition, I was one of the few people able to get really close to this project—but it's hard to get close enough with the naked eye. Later, when the project was on display on a table a few feet behind a velvet rope, I saw several people put a crick in their necks trying to get a closer look. So, I brought this wonder into my home studio and took some macro shots so we can all get a closer look.

As to her inspiration, Sachiko says: I enjoy sitting outside on summer evenings observing nature.





and other birds.

Including a nest of baby birds, being fed by their mama.


I have an image in my mind of what I want to create, then I create the work and decide if it matches what I imagined. Sometimes it takes a few attempts to get it right.


We have a small pond that my husband created in our backyard.

Note that the fluffy green base fabric is also crocheted, from Sensations Rainbow Boucle.

The frog, as well as the morning glory, humming birds, lily pad flower, and bird feeder are crocheted in Lizbeth Handy Hands Tatting Thread Size 80 (80!)


I love my backyard 🙂
The total time it took Sachiko to crochet her garden was about 2 months, but there were times when I set the work aside for a few days or so.

Sachiko's tips for working at this scale: You can't rush the process. When I start to get tired I need to stop and allow some time to pass before picking it up again.



The hooks Sachiko used were Clover Soft Touch crochet hook No.14 (0.50mm)  and Tulip crochet hook No.16 (0.40mm).



The morning glory leaves were crocheted in Handy Hands Tatting Thread and Guiterman sewing machine thread.

The tree stump, as well as leaves, bush, hibiscus bird bath, water, stones, bird nest and lily pad leaf, were crocheted in DMC cotton perle size 12.

For another sense of scale, I let a couple of tiny babies loose in the garden.
The raccoon was not pleased.
These babies are 1" long and 1/2" tall.
(Practicing frog stroke. Great form!)
Feed me, too!

And how did Sachiko know when she was done?

Well…. I ran out of time.


Sachiko says she wanted to add more critters like squirrel, butterfly, bees, yellow finch and flowers. Stay tuned—we have a feeling Sachiko is working on those very things and more. (Squirrel! Squee!)

This little garden has Lindsay Jarvis, Interweave Crochet's intrepid assistant editor, squirreling away yarn to create her own undersea world. How does this garden inspire you? Let us know in the comments.

Happy crocheting!


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