Needlepoint by Kaffe

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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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I have taught many people to stitch on canvas in a matter of minutes. Some have even gone on to work on important commissions for me within an hour of learning. So, armed with this wonderful craft and astounding ranges of coloured wools, the world is your oyster!

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Shading, Toning and Creating Colours

Once you have learnt random long stitch or traditional tent stitch you can let your fingers do the stitching and concentrate on lovely colours and beautiful designs. Needlepoint yarns come in wide ranges of colours, but you can also mix your own. I always keep a selection of crewel wool yarns for this purpose. If I run out of a particular colour, or if the colour I want just does not exist, I mix my own. All that is needed are two or three different colours of crewel yarn close to the shade required. These are all threaded together into the needle and usually do the trick. Mixing crewel strands is especially handy for subtle shading, like that on my Kabuki face cushion.

Flowers and Foliage

For sheer variety the world of flowers and leaves has few rivals for the decorative artist. From the subtlest washy tones and shapes to vibrant, full blown forms, this theme has fed the imagination of artisans in every part of the world since humans first started to embellish their surroundings. Whether depicted in simple, childlike forms or in the most refined realism, flowers rarely fail to captivate the viewer. It would have been easy indeed to deal with nothing but flower themes in this book. There are few other symbols that so potently bring the flavour and nostalgia of the great ornamental traditions of Europe and the Orient to our lives.

Glorious Needlepoint - Kaffe Fassett, 1987

Click here for more on Kaffe's Glorious Needlepoint Book

You can view and purchase Kaffe Fassett Studio's current needlepoint designs at Ehrman Tapestry This link opens in a new window

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Kaffe Fassett's Paintings

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Kaffe Fassett, Californian artist and textile designer, lives and works in London. Trained as an artist, his paintings have been shown and collected in London, New York and San Francisco over many years. His murals, too, feature in many homes and commercial enterprises. The decorative arts and the objects we collect around us have, from early days, been his particular passion.

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Kaffe Fassett's Knitting

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

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Kaffe Fassett's Patchwork

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From Passionate Patchwork:

"What are you going to tackle next?" is so often flung at me after I've just given a slide show and talk. The audience will just have witnessed me having a go at knitting, needlepoint, rag rugs, patchwork and mosaic. Since I perceive all these as the same - playing with patterns and colours - the image some must have of me being a dilettante doesn't enter my mind.

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