Today we welcome Sandi Rosner to the blog to share some thoughts on creating Esplanade
Esplanade was born out of the desire for a casual, everyday sweater that would be easy to knit and a pleasure to wear. An esplanade is a long, open, level area, typically beside the sea, along which people may walk for pleasure. I envisioned a sweater to wear while walking with the sea breeze against my face and the cry of gulls in the air.
While I love knitting lace, cables and intricate textures, I find that the things I most often wear tend towards simple and classic. But if I'm going to spend my time knitting a sweater, the last thing I want is generic! It must have enough detail and craftsmanship that it doesn't look like I bought it off the shelf at a department store. With its diagonal side seams wrapping the stripes from the back around to the front, Esplanade is anything but ordinary.
I love stripes. Wide stripes, narrow stripes, two-color, many color – you'll find them all in my wardrobe. And stripes are the simplest sort of colorwork for the knitter. Just switch colors every other row and you've added interest to what once was plain. With Esplanade, the diagonal intersection between the striped and solid sections is particularly attractive.
Esplanade is a project within reach of adventurous beginner knitters. For the most part, it's simple stockinette stitch with regularly spaced increases and decreases at the beginning and end of rows. The only fiddly part is the bottom. The back and front are started with a provisional cast-on. Once the pieces are sewn together, stitches are recovered from the provisional cast on and worked downward for the lower ribbing. This creates a smooth, seamless lower edge.
I've been asked about reversing the colors – using the darker color for the front and the lighter for the sleeves. Honestly, if I were making Esplanade for myself, that is probably what I'd do. I have what could be described as a generous bosom. Using the lighter color for the sleeves would visually emphasize the shoulders and draw attention away from my bust.
I love Esplanade in the classic gray and cream combo Kate chose for the magazine, and I think it's beautiful against the green pants and bright pink background in the photos. But this design lends itself to lots of interesting color combinations. Esplanade was made with Hikoo Sueño, a delicious DK weight blend of Superwash merino wool and viscose from bamboo. I played with the great range of Sueño colors to make some mock-ups of alternative color combinations. Do you have a favorite?