Knitting by Kaffe

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"Those of you who feel knitting has changed your life,
welcome to the club. I can think of no better
occupation to reveal your own creativity"

- Kaffe Fassett


"Like so many other crafts, knitting has the potential to create magic in our lives".

Mosaic-making, woodcarving, tapestry, quilting and so on, are all capable of lifting every day household objects out of the ordinary to brighten our days. Instead, they are often responsible for drab, uninspired works that have the opposite effect. In my teaching workshops, I try to persuade people that they can make something really beautiful and life-enhancing and I usually encounter the same protest, "But you're an artist. You know about colour and we don't". This misconception is one of the main reasons for my writing this book. I want to try to convey to you that a sense of colour is not something you automatically know about; you discover and rediscover its secrets by playing with it and, above all, by constantly looking...

My own story in the knitting world is a graphic example of 'ignorance is bliss'. Having spent most of my life, until the age of 28, as a painter of still life and portraits, I had no experience of needlework. Often I would find myself drooling over some richly woven or embroidered cloth in a still life and wonder how on earth it was made. Now at that time, in the early sixties, there was a taboo against 'serious' artists dabbling in the crafts. However, on a fabric-buying trip with Bill Gibb to the Holm Mills in Inverness, I finally succumbed. The knitting yarns at the back.

- Glorious Knitting, Kaffe Fassett 1985

Click here for more on Kaffe's Glorious Knitting Book or buy from Amazon USA This link opens in a new window / UK This link opens in a new window.

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Kaffe Fassett's Patchwork


From Passionate Patchwork:

Initially, we spent days poring over books on exhibitions of old quilts, never tiring of their highly inspiring content. It won't have escaped patchwork aficionados that I borrow heavily from classic old geometry. My logic tells me 'why strive for complicated, difficult-to-sew arrangements when simple squares, diamonds and triangles are so endlessly fascinating as long as the colours are alive.'

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Kaffe Fassett's Needlepoint


The beauty of needlepoint is that the actual technique is even easier to learn than basic knitting. Before attempting needlepoint, I had the idea that it required a daunting amount of patience to produce. Imagine my amazement when my first attempt at stitching flowed along so effortlessly that I was done in no time.

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Kaffe Fassett's Mosaic


Mosaics first excited my vision a long time ago. All through my early years in California I was aware of mosaic on eccentric structures like Watts Towers in Los Angeles and small examples in San Francisco's Chinatown. But what impressed me the most in those days were the personal mosaics of an artist friend of my family who covered walls, tables and window sills with keys, bottles, tinselly glass, beads and other unrespected materials.

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