And so ends, happily, the Adventure of the Wandering Braid.
Pattern: Braided Pullover
Sweater Yarn: Filatura di Crosa Zara Plus, 774m, No.1706; 100% superwash wool. An aran weight yarn, knitted firmly in worsted weight. Blocking smoothed out the tension of knitting, and gave it a velvety, smooth drape.
Pocket Lining Yarn: Filatura di Crosa Zarina, tiny amount, No.1481.
Needles: 4mm for body ribbing; 4.5mm for body, and for sleeve ribbing; 5mm for sleeve; 3mm for pocket lining. The reasons for my peculiar needle choice explained here… sadly, it did not work as intended, and I had to buy another skein.
Although this took more than 10 days, I’m consoling myself with the fact it took, actually, 10 knitting days.
I’m pretty happy with the result, although I might pick up and lengthen the sleeve cuffs later. The braid lies exactly as I wanted it to: a trompe l’oeil of a wrap top. I’m really happy that I decided to do the chest section of the braid separately – otherwise, the sharp change in angle combined with bush shaping was creating horrid bumps and warping.
I decided to restrict the pocket size to the width of the braid (which gets stretched slightly when worn), so as not to have any puckering in the stockinette section – over the tummy, no less! – where I sewed it down.
The pocket is held closed with light- weight plastic snaps; I added these pretty buttons along the braid to continue the illusion of its being a wrap top.
I’m happy with the back shaping too! It makes all that calculating and measuring worthwhile.
Overall, I think it’s a good looking and mostly practical pullover. I wish the sleeves were longer because when I face winter, I face 10 deg C without heating, and have to rely on my mammalian evolutionary ancestry to keep warm. But then again, I wouldn’t be facing winter without the defence of a long sleeved layer inside, so perhaps this pullover can stay bracelet length.
The most impractical yet beloved component of my sweater is the tiny pocket – what on earth can I keep in it??! A microfilm with the plans of the new submarine?? Do spies even use microfilm nowadays, or have I been reading too many Agatha Christies? Never mind, it’ll hold a scrap of tissue paper if I get a runny nose.