On Monday we looked at some knitting aids. If I think of knitting the one designer that jumps straight to mind is Kaffe Fassett who is best known for his signature knitwear and quilts: elaborate patterns rendered in layers of glorious colour. His extraordinary passion and insatiable appetite for colour is apparent whatever medium he uses, whether he is painting, knitting, creating patchwork, needlepoint or mosaics. He is one of the most influential living textile artists.
Kaffe ventured into the world of knitting on a visit to a Scottish wool mill. Inspired by the colours in the landscape, he was thrilled to find the same colours in yarns. He bought 20 colours of Shetland wool and some knitting needles, and on the train back to London a fellow passenger taught him how to knit. His first design appeared as a full page spread in Vogue Knitting magazine.
Fashion house, Missoni and fashion designer, Bill Gibb commissioned Kaffe’s early commercial collections, and his one-of-a-kind designs have been collected by famous names such as Barbra Streisand, Lauren Bacall, Ali McGraw, Irene Worth, Shirley Maclaine and H.R.H Princess Michael of Kent.
His work was the subject of a 1988 one-man show at the Victoria & Albert Museum in London, the first time a living textile artist had such a show there. The show toured nine countries.
Kaffe gave an interview in 2012 that I have watched many times. The video clip is 35 minutes and is well worth watching.
Alternatively there is a shorter video available at 15 minutes of an interview with Kaffe Fassett which he undertook when visiting Aberdeen Art Gallery in July 2014 to launch the exhibition, Kaffe Fassett, 50 Years in Colour.
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