>BACKSTORY: Avalon

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You gotta love a yarn company design director who respects crochet. From the first garment I sent to Cari Clement for Caron International in 2006 through the latest, this top for NaturallyCaron.com, our creative relationship has given me so many unique opportunities to explore my craft. This season Cari has spotlighted our latest design, Avalon, with a free pattern download and audio fashion show.

Avalon was inspired by home dec. Really. The motif is my adaptation of a swatch I saw in a vintage book, “Crochet For A Beautiful Home” (Sedgewood Press, 1987), one of among the countless treasures found by my mother over the years as she scoured her local flea markets and thrift shops. I know she paid just a couple of bucks for it, because if the penciled-in price on the inside cover had been any more than 2 dollars, she would have beaten them down to 2 dollars, trust me.

The motif features spiraling arms consisting of solid single crochets over chain spaces. I just so happened to see a coordinating pattern stitch in a Japanese stitch dictionary , “Crochet Patterns Book 300” (publisher and information in Japanese and therefore indecipherable by me!). The motif and stitch worked so well together that this top practically designed itself.

By deconstructing the motif I discovered a cool way to make the spiral arms into a trim for the body and sleeve bottoms.

Avalon has a soft, dense drape and generous, slinky stretch thanks to the yarn, NaturallyCaron.com Spa, a blend of Microfiber and Bamboo. The body and sleeves may easily be lengthened or shortened as you please before finishing with the trim, one of the benefits of top-down construction. Beware, though, as the stitch pattern will relax when blocked and you may end up with more length than you imagined.

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