A master colorworker, Kagan occupies a rarefied place in the knitting echelons for having blurred the boundaries between craft, art and fashion. In this collection (a companion to a traveling retrospective of her work called ‘My Life in Textiles: Four Decades of Classic Hand Knit Design’), Kagan has included essays from colleagues (including Vogue Knitting's Trisha Malcolm) and five designs from each decade of her career, reworking them in contemporary yarns. From retro Fair Isle vests (inspired by Edward, Prince of Wales) and the amusing 1980s Scotty Dog Sweater to epic intarsia pieces such as the Oriental Kimono and the Ivy Hooded Coat, each garment is as beautifully wearable today as it will be ten years hence. (Lovers of knitting tomes, rejoice: Not only is this collection an homage to Kagan's colorwork; it's also a gorgeous object in and of itself, with pretty endpapers, satin bookmark and sumptuous photography, all making a strong case for things that can be touched, worn and lovingly held).
A review from ‘VOGUEknitting International’ magazine, Winter 2011/12
(Guild of Master Cratsman Publications, $29.95)
from ‘Vogue Knitting’ - Fall 2008
“In this garden of knitterly delights, Kagan, a grand dame of colorwork, has sown a crop of twenty-two nature-inspired knits alive with canny combinations of stitchwork, decorative motifs and clever finishes. Hebron Stripe, a shapely pullover with bright flowers across the chest, combines a modern silhouette with folkloric motifs. The Lace Pashmina mixes simple lace with intarsia flowers for an effect that's dramatic, not precious. And Pebble, a wraparound cardigan, lets Rowan's variegated ‘Tapestry’ yarn do much of the colorwork. Knitters who dig into these designs will discover that they are fashioning garments, yes, but are doing so by creating beautiful textured fabrics.”