I was trying to hold off until Christmas. Really. But somehow a copy of Dreaming in Color, Kaffe Fassett's new autobiography, jumped into my shopping cart when I was ordering books for Feral Knitter. And boy howdy am I glad!
I don't think I need to supply an introduction to the phenomenon that is Kaffe Fassett. Of course I have been an admirer of his colorwork for, well, forever—I've certainly devoured every one of his knitting books since Glorious Color was published in 1985. I didn't even really know how to knit then, but this book caught my attention and I remember gathering some yarns and attempting to knit one of his masterpieces at that time. I've even contemplated learning needlepoint, a desire I attribute to Kaffe and Sarah Swett in equal parts. His creative output is overwhelming, but his artistic vision is clear whether he is knitting, assembling mosaics, painting, quilting, or stitching needlepoint.
This book is overflowing with lush, colorful photographs, just what you would expect from Kaffe. What surprised and delighted me, however, was the story. I can hardly put the book down—Kaffe's tale of talent coupled with very hard work is, like the best biographies, inspirational. I read, and then I get up and knit or design or write. That's a special talent, the ability to get other people to create.
(If you are putting together your Christmas list, and if Dreaming in Color is going to be on it, why don't you put My Nepenthe on the list, too? My Nepenthe is the story of the Fassett family's restaurant in Big Sur, with recipes, written by Kaffe's niece Romney Steele and just as lushly photographed as Dreaming in Color. Plus, I can personally vouch for a number of these recipes.)
Sadly, I can see that I am nearing the end. Luckily, I've got something else lined up: I'll be plunging into Dearie: The Remarkable Life of Julia Child, by Bob Spitz.
At odd moments I've also been enjoying the newest issue of Hand/Eye magazine—look at that incredible cover! (I love how it looks on my purple chair...) Articles showcase modern fiber artists and traditional woodworkers, mudcloth dyers and beadwork cooperatives, and the photographs are absolutely beautiful.
Wow, so much wondrous eye candy and inspiration is available to us these days, especially welcome as we in the northern hemisphere contemplate the arrival of shorter days and lower light!