Folksy knits – decorative ideas for hand knitting with Sasha Kagan

Constructed and woven textiles

Ref: S3D11042


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2 places available

About this course

Work from decorative designs inspired by Russian and European folk art. Make graphs then knit motifs and borders taken from old patterns. Embroider, smock and embellish these textiles to give a folksy feel.

Course Description

Learn to make a selection of knitted swatches to use to inspire your own future projects.

Techniques covered will include drawing graphs taken from folk art patterns and embroidery so that designs can be translated into hand knitted fabric. You will then knit sample swatches from a selection of designs and learn to incorporate embroidery and smocking onto the fabric. You will also learn how to embellish the knitted fabric with twisted cords, pompoms and frog fastenings.

You will gain the confidence to translate painted and embroidered patterns into graphs for hand knitting, so that you are equipped with the skill to interpret traditional designs into a modern context. This will open up the possibilities of translating designs from one craft to another. You will explore how to capture the essence of a folk art piece. While also learning embroidery stitches and smocking for use on hand knit textiles, as well as how to make some textile embellishments.

You must have basic hand knitting and embroidery skills and be able to read a graph for hand knitting, to enable you to take part in this course.


Arrival Day - this is the first date listed above

Courses start early evening. Residential students to arrive from 4pm, non-residential students to arrive by 6.45pm.

6.45pm: Welcome, followed by dinner (included).

8 - 9pm: First teaching session, attendance is essential.

Daily timetable

Classes 9.15 - 5pm, lunch is included.

From 6.30pm: Dinner (included for residential students).

Evening working - students may have access to workshops, but only with their tutor's permission and provided any health and safety guidelines are observed.

Last day

Classes 9.15am - 3pm, lunch is included.

Residential students are to vacate their rooms by 10am please.

(This timetable is for courses of more than one day in length. The tutor may make slight variations)

Course Materials


  • You will be provided with a large selection of yarn in 4-ply and DK weight in a variety of colours for use during the course.

What students need to bring

  • You should do some research into folk art and print out items that appeal to you and/or bring tear sheets from magazines, post cards, folk art objects etc., for inspiration
  • Please bring 3 or 4 hand-knitted squares of stocking stitch approx 20cm x 20cm in solid colours using 4-ply and DK weight yarn, as preparation too.
  • You will also need to bring a selection of knitting needles 3mm-4mm, two crewel embroidery needles, scissors and small balls of your favourite yarns and embroidery threads.


Sasha Kagan

Sasha Kagan is a tutor with 40 years experience in design for hand knitting and crochet. She specializes in designs inspired by nature. She trained at Canterbury, Exeter and the Royal College of Art, London. She teaches extensively, giving workshops and master classes internationally. She exhibits at Made London and Made West Dean and in 2011 had a major travelling retrospective exhibition "My Life in Textiles - four decades of hand knit design. She is the author of sseven books.


Residential option available. Find out accommodation costs and how to book here.

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