Classic Knits of the 1980s

Sandy Black
Written by a pioneer of modern fashion knitwear, Classic Knits of the 1980s describes the principal fundamentals of knitwear design and features original, colourful, textural and fun knitting patterns that capture the fashion zeitgeist of the 1980s designer knitwear boom. As well as selling ready-made knitwear to stores, several designers made their patterns available as home knitting kits. Classic Knits of the 1980s features a range of innovative designs from Sandy Black knitting kits, many published here for the first time. The patterns are suitable for a broad range of knitting skills, from those with good basic knowledge of knitting to the more experienced knitter. Made up of two parts: Part 1 establishes the fashion and knitwear context of the period and its influence on the development of the designs, examining the entire creative process from inspiration to final pattern. Lavishly illustrated with photographs, diagrams and charts, special features include patchwork (modular) designs and intarsia or colour-block knitting, with techniques and tips for pattern calculations, working from charts and handling several colours. Part 2 then offers twenty-one original patterns and designs, grouped into themes of textural, graphic, heraldic and ornamental, plus the unique Siamese cat, leopard and tiger accessories. Contemporary photography, together with original images from the 1980s, illustrates the designs' timeless appeal, with close-up images of intricate pattern details and suggested design variations to aid creative knitters inspired by this pivotal decade.
Classic Knits of the 1980s by Sandy Black

About the author

Sandy Black is a recognized expert on knitting, both by hand and machine. As designer and director of the successful Sandy Black Original Knits label from the late 1970s to the 1980s, Sandy sold her innovative fashion knitwear to prestigious stores in the USA, Japan, Italy, Germany, Australia, Canada and the UK. After twenty years in business, she became a university lecturer, leading undergraduate and postgraduate academic programmes in textiles and fashion in Brighton and London. She has written pioneering books on knitwear in fashion, the socio-cultural history and technical evolution of knitting. Sandy is currently Professor of Fashion and Textile Design and Technology in the Centre for Sustainable Fashion, London College of Fashion, University of the Arts London.

Press Reviews

Overall, this book will probably appeal to knitters more than historians; however, it would add a lot of value to collections of design history, such as for fashion design or theatrical use where authentically representing a particular time and place is important.

- Elizabeth Swackhamer Davidson

The designs are unmistakably of the 1980s, with their exuberant colour work and playful details, yet are all completely wearable and fashionable today. Breath-taking colour work abounds in this collection, such as the floral intarsia of the ‘Trailing Roses’ sweater, and a Persian-inspired patterned tunic. This fascinating book will delight those of us who were keen knitters in the 1980s, and also younger generations who admire the joyful, inventive styles of this era. - The Knitter

- The Knitter