Colorful Crochet & Crafts

“Crochet A-B-Sea” – book review & giveaway

“Crochet A-B-Sea” – book review & giveaway

This is honestly and by far the most fun project I’ve ever crocheted! I’ve had a big smile on my face while working on it, and even now, typing up this post, I can’t help but grin …
I’m sure this is not hard to understand, I mean: just look at all the 26 fabulous sea creatures that designer-extraordinaire Pony McTate came up with!

photo: Pony McTate

Not only did she make fantastic looking and sometimes hilarious crochet versions of them, she also excelled in writing the sea creatures’ patterns: clear, crisp, with lots of clarifying photos, so now all of us can enjoy making them: win-win-WIN!
And, there is even more “WIN”, because, YES!: you can WIN this marvelous book: Pony has very kindly allowed me to give away a copy of “Crochet A-B-Sea”.

Now … who is Pony? She is a super-talented crochet designer from New Zealand, who has a distinct and unique style, plus a great sense of humor, all of which I really like.
You might have seen some of Pony’s cool work in crochet magazines (e.g. “Simply Crochet Magazine”), or have found her on Instagram / Facebook, / Pony’s blog. If so, you already knew about her ocean-themed granny squares, since she started sharing most of her sea creatures at the beginning of this year. Luckily for us, she quite quickly decided to write down all patterns, and publish them in a book: e-book (for sale here and here), as well as hard copy (for sale here).

In the book, Pony of course shows how to crochet your way through this wonderful underwater ABC: patterns for 26 awesomely accurate (and remarkably unusual) sea creature afghan squares are collected in it, as well as the background squares, and a border to finish the blanket off. The motifs are all cute, and – again – SO much FUN.
You can either create a one-of-a-kind ABC blanket, or use the versatile creature motifs to make all manner of distinctive embellishments, as shown here ↓ in Pony’s collage (or, crochet a few squares, and turn them into a cushion, as I did!).

As I said, most of the sea creatures are remarkably unusual, and this is one of the many details I love so much about the book: Pony’s quest for “different”. You will not find the rather obligatory ‘Dolphin’ under ‘D’, but a ‘Deep Sea Angler’ instead, and how about a ‘Narwhal’, a ‘Porcupine Puffer’, or – believe it or not – a ‘Humuhumunukunukuapua’a’ (!!): funky crochet at its finest.

Some details about “Crochet A-B-Sea”:
• Innovative patterns thoroughly explained with easy-to-follow instructions.
• Over 175 step-by-step photos to guide you.
• Written in UK crochet terms, with a conversion table to US terms; suited to crocheters familiar with the crochet basics; whether you’re an adventurous beginner or above: you’ll be fine.
• All techniques are fully detailed, along with the finishing tips and tricks you need to create your marine masterpiece – from anemone to zooplankton!

Although I know that one day I will crochet all squares, and complete the blanket, I was too eager to share the book with you, and time-wise had to resort to plan B for now. In plan B, I used a bulkier yarn (DMC Natura Just Cotton – Medium) and a bigger hook (6 mm), thus creating 20 cm x 20 cm squares, only needing 6 of them for my 40 cm x 60 cm-sized cushion.

For most of my creatures I used colors from my 100%-cotton stash, and crocheted these using 2 strands and a 5 mm hook. That worked really well: it made for perfectly scaled motifs in my 20 cm x 20 cm squares. I did crochet all background squares in off-white and grey, as per Pony’s instructions, but added a different colored frame around each grey circle. Those are the same colors I used to crochet my squares together with (using the so called zippered flat join), and they came back in the single-crochet border.

For the back of the cushion I made an envelope-style cover, using some frabric I found in my stash; white (for the front) and sea-blue – what else? 😉 – (for the back), after which I hand stitched my crochet cover onto that.

All in all I’m beyond pleased with how my “ABSea Cushion” turned out; I’ll list it in my shortly to be opened new webshop soon (if you cannot wait for that, you can email me to claim it as yours).
It will inevitably bring delight to whatever new home it may find: as I said before, it has been made with nothing but love, joy, and lots-and-lots of smiles!

Last but definitely not least: the giveaway! To win this gorgeous book, leave a comment underneath this post, telling me whether you prefer a digital or hard copy of “Crochet A-B-Sea”; you can win an extra entry to this giveaway by telling me what is wrong with the first Octopus-edition that I made (see photo ↑)- much to my relief, it was rather easily fixed ;-).
The giveaway will close Wednesday October 24, 2018 (24:00 CET), a random number generator will pick a winner. Make sure I can reach you via email – if I do not hear back from the winner within 24 hrs after notification, a new winner will be drawn.

Good luck to all!

Marianne xx

edit: a winner has been drawn and notified! Thank you all for participating! xx

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30 thoughts on ““Crochet A-B-Sea” – book review & giveaway”

  • Oh my gosh! I just came across these adorable squares on Ravelry and I’m so excited that she put them together in a book. They are adorable and I can’t wait to make them! I ordered the book – thanks for sharing!

    • Yay! The book is just fabulous – you definitely won’t regret buying it!! Marianne xx

  • Wow, what a beautiful sea creatures and I love how the cushion turns out. You did a great job, Marianne.

    Would love to give it a try for a hardcopy of this fabulous book.

    And what’s wrong with the octopus? He has one leg too much… ???

  • I would love to receive either a hard copy of your ‘Crochet A-B-Sea’-book !
    My ‘plus’-grandson Stan loves all seacreatures, sharks in particular, so I can put the patterns to very good use, moreover, we all live at the Belgian Coast in a town called ‘Bredene’, right next to Ostend, so it would end up in a very appropriate home !
    You created yet another crochet awesomness, dear Marianne, congrats !

    P.S. : Oh yes, … What wás wrong with the first little guy ? ?
    ?? He had nine legs instead of eight ….

  • Omg this cushion just speaks my language!! I do love crochet cushions, my house is full of them. I would love a hard copy of this book, nothing like flicking through a book ?. Your octopus ? has an extra leg ?.
    Well done lovely review of the book too!

  • This is the cutest blanket I have seen in a long time! It is so creative and it does look fun to make to me, also! I would love a digital copy. Thanks for the chance to win one.

  • I would love a hard copy! The book looks incredible!
    And it looks like the first octopus has 9 legs! Haha makes him more special I reckon. 🙂

  • Oh I would love to win this to create a beautiful blanket and matching pillow for my youngest daughter! Ofcourse with an octopus with 8 legs, not 9 like your first attempt! Thanks for having this give away!

  • These AB Sea critters are so adorable! I would love to have a digital copy of Pony’s book. Your first Octipus had 9 legs instead of the traditional 8; you could, of course have claimed that he had mutated because of all the plastics floating around in the ocean. But having the normal 8 legs is probably less worrisome to people than mutating to have 9 legs. lol

  • I always prefer a hard copy of patterns so I can stuff them in my project bag on the go. Does the octopus have nine tentacles?

  • Wow. Love the blanket you have crocheted. Love everything to do with sea. I will like a digital copy in English please if I get selected.
    The octopus has grown an extra tentacle. Lol. Cute don’t mind it with more arms. Love from Australia.

  • I’d love to win a copy of this charming book! My daughter has a lot of shells, sea-themed items in her home, so this blanket (or even the cushion) would be a great addition to her home!

    Love your work – and I was not familiar with Pony, but am going to check out her blog, etc. right after I finish here…
    Thanks for all you share with all of us! This Crochet Community is so great – almost like being part of a world-wide family, isn’t it?

  • I was so excited when I sent my first comment, I neglected to specify – IF I should be so lucky to be the winner, I’d love the English hard-copy version if possible…or at least English – can work with digital – I wouldn’t turn that down, either!

    Thanks again for all you share – it is so appreciated!

  • Wow – I’d love to win this (a hardcopy)! I followed Pony making the blanket and was amazed. (You got a little over excited and added an extra leg to Octopus number one!)

  • Wow wow wow! I’d love to win a hard copy of this book. But a digital one also would do good 🙂 my new born baby would be thrilled to have this blanket(if he gives me time to crochet :)) ) and maybe i can trick him with 9 legs octopus :)) yours look so nice. Your work looks great as always!

  • TOTALLY I love with these patterns! Would love to win a hard copy. I’m sure my little boy will love a blanket with these sea animals. Can’t wait to start. Fingers crossed ?? ????

  • Oh this is beyond lovely. Would love to make a project or two for my babies. As I’m a hard core book nerd I would prefer a hardcover if I win. ? And your adorable octopus is extra talented with that extra arm of his. ?

  • Oe really like this theme! Not sure whether I’m in time to take a chance or just over time (thought I already left a reaction).
    Would love a hard copy and the first octopus is more like a novempus (one leg more than an octopus, nine instead of eight).

    • See now that my reaction is in CEST time, not in CET time (makes the hour difference).
      Wel good luck to the Lucky one to enjoy this lovely book and lots of fun crocheting!

  • Wowzers! I love and adore Pony’s creativity and I’m sure you had good fun and lots of giggles making your gorgeous pillow version. I would love to win a hardcopy and Mr. Octopus has grown a leg too many.

  • I just wanted to publicly say thank you to you, Marianne, and to Pony McTate for allowing me to win and download the digital copy of this marvelous book. I’ve e-mailed both of you to thank-you, but just want to post here to let everyone that wonderful things DO happen! Apart from the cool and many n’er before designs for the odd and rare sea creatures (flying fish, narwhal, manta ray, deeeep sea angler–you know, the one that has it’s own “flashlight”), the humuhumunukunukuapua’a, etc), she has also included interesting background info on each one. I’m excited to get started on some of these critters. I think the walrus is adorable and my daughter will fall in love with the turtle! So many critters…so little time…. love, love, love the digital copy! So many thanks again and hugs to you both! Lynda

    • That is so wonderful to hear, Lynda!! I’m so happy you’re just as pleased with the book as I am – happy crocheting, sweetheart!! Marianne xx

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