British hand knitwear designer Sasha Kagan is a name synonymous with hand knits and crochet. Using best-quality yarns and fibres, and innovative knitting techniques, she regularly designs Intarsia and Fair Isle knitting patterns for Vogue Knitting, Rowan Yarns, Woman’s Weekly and The Knitter. Author of ‘The Classic Collection’, ‘Crochet Inspiration’ and ‘Knitwear’, her pattern books inspire the discerning hand knitter.
My Life in Textiles
Jill Piercy curated this exhibit that took place in 2012 and wrote the following:
Pattern, colour and texture are key to Sasha Kagan’s creative process and her exhibition ‘My Life in Textiles’ reflected the importance of these elements in her work over the last four decades. Although Sasha trained as a painter and printmaker, she was immersed in the needle arts from an early age, as both her mother and grandmother were enthusiastic and proficient knitters and needlewomen.
When she moved to Wales from London in 1972, Sasha further developed her interest in knitted textiles by setting up her designer led hand-knit business. This began in 1974 with four outworkers and ten years later she had 130 knitters and orders coming in worldwide. The commitment and enthusiasm Sasha has for her craft make it possible for her to run a successful national and international business while raising a family and maintaining a rural lifestyle.
Since then, she has continued to be extremely busy and has created two collections a year, exhibited widely, had regular international lecture tours, been a contributor to many craft magazines, made kits to enthuse knitters and authored six books with her seventh due to be published in Spring 2011.
Mounting this exhibit was part of Sasha’s ongoing mission to “elevate knitting to a much higher status and encourage the next generation”. The exhibition was based around six of her main recurring pattern themes – Geometrics, Witty and Whimsicals, Folkloric, Florals, Leaves and the new range of abstract designs based on close up studies of lichens, slate and stone. Sasha’s garment designs are knitted in classic shapes that can easily be adapted at different times in new yarns and colour ways to fit fashion trends.
Inspiration is never far away. Sasha’s studio is in the heart of Mid Wales and if the views from her studio should fail to inspire, she has thirteen acres of land to explore and reflect the changes of the seasons.
Jill Piercy – Exhibition Curator