Kaffe Fassett has a bad reputation. That's a pretty bold statement, given that he's probably the most famous male knitter on the planet, but hear me out.
He, or more accurately, his patterns, have a reputation for being too difficult for all but the most experienced and confident knitters. New knitters, or those who aren't perfectly comfortable reading a chart or dealing with several colors of yarn at once, best sit his patterns out, or so the wisdom goes.
But Fassett says this reputation just isn't true and that knitters of all skill levels can successfully complete the patterns in his book Kaffe Knits Again.
A Knitting Coffee Table Book
Even if you aren't convinced by Fassett's reassuring statement that he is "giving all nervous knitters the opportunity to try out color knitting," this book is certainly worth a look for the beautiful designs and the amazing photography.
Photographed on location at Charleston, a sort of early 20th century British artist's collective, Fassett's designs look as if they stepped out of the walls themselves, blending in perfectly with the art and texture that surrounds them.
The first part of a book is a gallery of the projects in this natural habitat, where it is easy to see that they truly are works or art -- and works of art that you might want to try out for yourself.
The colors and patterns are irresistible, and if you left this book on your coffee table you'd probably find visitors to your home who never showed an interest in knitting before suddenly oohing and aahing over these marvelous creations.
The subtitle of the book is 24 Original Designs Updated for Today's Knitters, and that's exactly what the book contains: two dozen classic Fassett patterns reinterpreted, in some cases simplified, for the knitters of today.
There are many sweaters in the book, as well as vests, cushions, throws, a scarf, a bag and several pillows. The smaller scale of the patterns is designed to make them a little less intimidating. One sweater pattern doesn't even have a chart, because it is simply knit in stripes.
Looking at the pillows, the gorgeous Stepped Flowers Stole (reminiscent of a Grandmother's Flower Garden quilt) and the vests (including a classic Tumbling Blocks design), it's easy to see that yes, in fact, you could knit with color as exuberantly as Fassett himself, at least with his careful guidance.
Of course looking at the charts (and the supply lists!) of even the simplest of these patterns can still intimidate less-than-confident knitters, but it is hoped that the beauty of the patterns will help you get over your fear and give color knitting a try.
Many of the projects use just two colors per row, so even though the color looks quite frightening, it really isn't that bad. And just imagine the feeling of satisfaction you will have when you successfully complete one of these projects. Then you will really know that you can do anything when it comes to knitting with color.
Publication Date: October 2007.