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Book Review: Knitwear by Sasha Kagan

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Knitwear by Sasha Kagan is definitely not for beginners. British designer Kagan focuses on intricate cabling, complex patterns, and lots of color work. The designs in this book are far more traditional than other recent knitting offerings, so if you are a fan of slinky lingerie-style knits and figure-skimming shapes, this book is not for you. But don’t be scared away – I would best describe these designs as contemporary traditional.

The designs in Knitwear are stunning, no doubt. However, they are all very similar: mostly traditional pullovers and cardigans. There are a few updated shapes with classic patterns. The Hebron Stripe sweater is fitted and scoop-necked, with an underbust ribbon to complement the stripes of Far East floral intarsia. Cutesy hearts grow up with a cropped cardigan called Valentine. Nautical is a tomboy sailboat design, femmed-up with cables. Tiny Flower is a unique jacket with cables, flowers, and lattice edging.

Some of the designs are just kind of bland. Heath is a very basic short sleeved blouse with a traditional Fair Isle pattern. Aster is similar, but with intarsia flowers and lace. Diagonal Flowers is an oversized pullover with floral embroidery. Flower Power – a different floral pattern on an oversized turtleneck. Snowberry is a vintage-inspired long-sleeved floral cardigan.

These patterns seem like they will appeal most to girly-girls, women who love florals and a touch of vintage. The beautiful hardbound volume with all full-color pages make it a wonderful gift book, but this is definitely for advanced knitters. With Mother’s Day coming up, this would make a great gift for a knitting momma. But be forewarned: there are not many sizing options in this book. Very basic small, medium, and large are provided. Anything outside those sizes will take some figuring.

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