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Long before I started this blog, I asked the internet what to do about a sweater I was making through an old journal of mine that some college friends had access to. The Avalon Top, by one of my favorite crochet designers, Doris Chan, looked fabulous on the pattern model – and you know how critical I can be of the kinds of get-ups crochet models are asked to pose in.

I got through most of the body and one sleeve when a trusted source told me the top was “not attractive.” Conflicted, mostly because I really wanted the project to work even in the face of my own doubts, I submitted the question to my journal readers with four options

1) rip it all out, use the yarn for something else
2) rip out the single sleeve, finish the bottom border, wear it as a short sleeve top
3) finish it because it looks okay
4) finish it and give it away/trade it for something

Their comments were mostly helpful, although one guy did ask me if I was making the top to go clubbing in *headdesk*.

In the end, we decided to go with option 2. I later decided to lengthen the body until it became more of an over-tunic than a top. Thing is, I’m still not satisfied with it. I’d abandoned the project to the depths of my closet, 90% finished, because I’ve been at a loss for what might be done with the poor thing.

A couple days ago, someone on Ravelry messaged me with some questions about the top and it inspired me to take a look at the project again. I apologise in advance for the crummy mirror pictures – I don’t have time lately for making a production of taking photos.

My reply to her questions – with embedded pictures instead of links

What did you end up doing?

I added enough length to the body to use it as an over dress, but never found an ideal underdress. I found one that works well enough, but I think the V neck underneath the scoop neck collar is strange.

How do you like finished product?

I don’t, actually – although I still don’t really consider it finished. 😦 I keep hoping I’ll be struck with inspiration or that maybe some friend will want it.

1)I am a bit uncomfortable with the motifs at the top – either I have one smack in the center of my chest:

or two placed directly above my bust:

2)The lack of shaping in the body ends up taking my waist away, as you can see from this picture with the shell on:

and then this with it off:

3) I also think that it was a mistake to do it in grey. In a lighter color, I think it wouldn’t be so dominating and, well, harsh looking. I love love love how it looks on the model in the original pattern, so I can’t figure out why I dislike it so much on myself.

What level difficulty would you rate the pattern?

I think of medium difficulty. I had some issue figuring out the motifs and the long arms were fiddly to work with at the beginning. If you follow the directions closely, putting the yoke together shouldn’t be too difficult but it requires a lot of attention. The body is really easy.

I hope this doesn’t discourage you. I think if done correctly, this could be gorgeous – it clearly is on the pattern page. Maybe it’s just not my style, in the end.

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