Book Review – Crochet A-B-Sea

ABSEA_1

I have a delightful new book to share with you today – Crochet A-B-Sea – An Extraordinary Underwater Alphabet by the fun and fabulous Pony McTate.

It’s not often that you come across a truly unique crochet book but this is one of those exceptions.  Pony has a fun quirky sense of humour which really shines through her designs.

It was fun following this project develop over on Pony’s instagram feed earlier in the year and I was excited to see that it has turned into a book so that we can all have a go at making our own unique and educational blanket.

So let’s have a look inside ….

ABSEA_2The chapters

 

Preliminary stuff

This chapter includes all the things you need to know before getting started, including:

  • abbreviations used and a conversion chart from UK terms to US terms (the book is written in UK terms). 
  • a page of ideas for other uses of the motifs – such as clothing appliques, fridge magnets and any other kind of decorative purpose you can think of
  • Yarn, gauge and hook size information

Techniques

This is a great chapter with lots of tips and tricks to help you produce beautiful work, such as:

  • How to make a magic loop
  • How to make neater seams working in the round
  • Invisible joins
  • Changing colour
  • Embroidery tips

The patterns

In addition to the instructions for the plain background squares, here you will find:

  • 26 patterns for all the weird and wonderful sea creatures from A to Z
  • Each pattern includes a difficulty rating and is written with clear instructions, hints and tips and photo tutorials for the tricky bits
  • Fun facts about the creatures

Finishing off

Another great chapter with more tips on creating a beautiful finished blanket, including

  • Blocking your squares
  • Attaching your creatures
  • Attaching a fabric backing
  • Joining your squares
  • Making the border

And finally there is a comprehensive list of all the yarn used with details of colours and amounts used.

Of course, I couldn’t resist making a couple of squares myself but choosing just a couple of faves was hard – there are so many cute, quirky creatures to choose from!  I finally settled on the Clown Fish and Jellyfish for now but I’ll definitely have to make a few more in the future I think!

ABSEA_3

!!  Giveaway !!

Pony has very generously given me a book to giveaway to one lucky reader.  To go in the draw to win a copy, simply leave a comment telling me what your favourite sea creature is.

Entry is for Australian residents only (sorry to my international readers – but postage is a killer). 

Entries will be drawn at random on 4th October 4:00 pm AEST

Where to buy Crochet A-B-Sea

Head over to Pony’s website for links to order either a print or digital copy.

Until next time

Michelle xx

 

 

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Book Review :: Crochet Loom Blooms

loom blooms cover1I’m back today with another book review.  There are so many great craft books coming out lately I can barely keep up and today’s featured book is no exception!

When I was asked if I’d like to review this gorgeous new book  – *Crochet Loom Blooms by Haafner Linssen (*UK/Aus version is called ‘Flower Loom Blooms’) I jumped at the chance.

I’ve been following Haafner on instagram for years and her feed is a feast of beautiful crochet. You should definitely check out her profile here.  Go on!  It will make your eyes happy!

I’ve seen flower looms around before but have never been inspired to try them out but one look at the cover of this beautiful book I was instantly attracted and eager to learn more.

The book is divided into four chapters, covering all the essential techniques you’ll need to start making your own blooms.  Each of the 30 flower motifs are beautifully photographed with clear written instructions as well as charts for those of us who prefer visual aids.

There are 5 projects included to get you started but the possibilities are endless really. All the motifs shown in the book come with instructions for joining so you can use any motif to make blankets, curtains, clothing or whatever your imagination can dream up.

Itching to get started, I ordered myself a loom here.   At first I was all fingers and thumbs and my first couple of blooms were a flop.  But after I got through that fiddly stage I was cranking out cute little flowers like a champ.  They are quick to make and a great way to use up all those little bits of scrap yarn.

Here’s what I’m making

 

loom_bloomsIt’s the ‘Summer of Love’ motif.  Cute, yes!  I think I’ll keep going and make a cushion cover.

In summary, Crochet Loom Blooms is not only pretty to look at, it is a comprehensive guide to combining two fun crafts together in a unique way.

If you like pretty things or would like to add another dimension to your crochet I would highly recommend adding this book to your collection.  Click here if you’d like to purchase your own copy of Crochet Loom Blooms.

Until next time

Michelle x

 disclosure:

*affiliate links contained in this post. If you make a purchase by following my link I will earn a tiny commission which helps me keep running this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your continued support.

 *I received a digital copy of this book in return for my no obligation, honest opinion.  All opinions are my own. 

 

Book Review: Crochet Kaleidoscope

 

CrochetKaleidoscope_500px_72dpiimage credit:  F & W media

I am delighted to bring you a review of the fantastic new book Crochet Kaleidoscope – Shifting Shapes and Shades across 100 Motifs by Sandra Eng aka mobiusgirl on instagram or you can also find Sandra on her blog here

Inside you will find  a fantastic variety of patterns for 100 different motifs ranging in shape from circles, squares, hexagons, triangles and other shapes.  There really is something for everyone in this book!

Kaleidoscope_1045 (1)image credit:  F & W media

Each motif includes a clear photo, written instructions and a chart diagram.  Many of the motif designs are also shown in alternative colourways which is a great feature and really highlights how different a motif can look depending on your colour choices.

Speaking of colour, there is an excellent chapter on choosing colours which guides you through colour selection using the colour wheel, finding inspiration and pairing colours as well as some excellent links to ‘colour picking’ tools available on the web.

This book is a wonderful resource to add to your crochet bookshelf which you will refer to time and again when planning new projects.  I really liked the tip on using a photo collage app to get a sense of what your finished project will look like when all joined together.  To kickstart your creativity, there are patterns 5 gorgeous projects using some of the motifs in the book.

I always like to make something from the book I am reviewing.  Flicking through the pages, it was hard to choose.  There were so many interesting motifs I wanted to try, I didn’t know where to start!

Solstice_Pillow

image credit:  F & W media

I was really drawn to the Solstice Pillow and I’ve made a start on making these squares.  So eye-catching!

solstice squares

I also know someone who would absolutely love the Zinia Table runner

ZinniaTableRunner2

image credit:  F & W media

This is a great stash-buster project!  I’ve made a start with these – it’s very addictive and I’m enjoying how quickly it’s working up.

tablerunner

In summary, Crochet Kaleidoscope is a great book and I would highly recommend it.  It will make a wonderful addition to your library and I’m sure you’ll refer to it often.

Until next time

Michelle x

*disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book in return for my no obligation, honest opinion.  There are no affiliate links in this post.

Book Review: Round and Round the Crochet Hook

roundthecrochethook-cover

Today, I’m very pleased to share my review of a new crochet book, Round and Round the Crochet Hook by Emily Littlefair. You may know Emily from The Loopy Stitch or follow her gorgeous feed on instagram

The book, published by Tuva Publishing, consists of 18 lovely patterns all worked in the round as the title suggests. Inside you’ll find a great selection of designs ranging from quick projects that can be made in an afternoon such as the coasters or mandalas or to larger projects such as a floor rug or blanket.

All the patterns are well written and include colour coded charts and each project is  beautifully styled and photographed  with several shots showing the item in a different way including close up detailed photo’s.

I really liked the Project Gallery at the front of the book showing all the projects together which is a great visual aid.

Flicking through the pages, it was hard to decide which project I wanted to make! After lots of ‘oohing’ and ‘aahing’, I finally settled on the Fenced Around Wall Hanging to brighten up my studio. It was such a fun, quick project that I think I’ll make more for a few special people on my Christmas list as I know they’ll love them too!

Mandala_book

(please excuse the terrible photo quality – my camera is not playing nice at the mo)

 

Mandala

Speaking of Christmas, I also whipped up a few stars from the Stars In the Night Sky Centrepiece pattern which I think will make cute hanging ornaments.

stars2

It really is a great book! You can have a sneak peek at more of the  lovely projects inside the book or order yourself a copy of Round and Round The Crochet Hook over at Amazon (not affiliated – just a helpful link)

Well that’s it for me today, now I hand you over to the lovely Bec of Handmadebec for her review tomorrow.

Until next time

Michelle xx