Interview with Sasha Kagan, knit & crochet designer
Did you undertake formal training in college or within the industry, or did you find your way into knitting via a different route?
My training was art-school based. 1965-68 Exeter College of Art - BA in Art and Design (painting), 1968-71 Royal College of Art London MRCA (printmaking). I set up Sasha Kagan Knitwear when I moved to Wales in 1972. My experience in textiles was learnt from my mother. My colour sense and sensitivity to design sharpened by my art school training
How would you describe your position within the world of knitting?
One of the foremost proponents of the 'intarsia' technique. I am known for my use of colour, pattern and texture in hand-knitted women's wear and home furnishings. I have been dubbed 'The doyenne of hand-knitting', ' the William Morris of Wales'.
What inspires and influences the designs you create for knitted objects?
Living in the depths of the mid-Wales countryside, I am inspired by nature, the changing seasons, the flowers, trees and plants that I live amongst.
What types of materials do you prefer to use?
Natural fibres, wool, cotton, silk, mohair and blends of those qualities.
What would you most like to knit that you haven't made so far?
A huge patchwork hanging with all my nature-inspired motifs in one textile piece.
What do you think of the hand knitting 'revival' taking place in the US and which has now reached Britain?
I am delighted that hand-knitting is at last receiving the recognition it deserves in the fibre arts world. My exhibition at the Victoria and Albert Museum in September 2000 to July 2001 (curated by Susan North) has played its part in kick starting the knitting revival. In 1984 The Sasha Kagan Sweater Book and in 1988 Sasha Kagan's Big and Little Sweaters contributed to the revival in the 1980s. Sasha Sweaters contributed to the revival in the 1980s. Sasha Kagan's Country Inspiration in 2000 has helped the revival that we have today.