The magic is in the colour combinations
A riot of pattern and colour are the threads that bind together Kaffe’s prolific and eclectic creative output as a textile artist, knitwear designer, painter and writer, but his favourite stitch is the humble stocking stitch.
eclectic and bold
emphasizing colour and pattern
I'm inspired by the worlds’ treasury of decorative arts. To me, a garment has the potential to stimulate, amaze and entertain anyone who sees it. It should suit the wearer, making the best of their shape and colouring. If a knitter is going to give hours of labour to a garment as opposed to buying ready-made, it should be above average, something you wouldn’t readily find in your average store.
the works of decorative artists
I find in museums and books
It's those craftspeople who made life a bit more special by elevating textiles, objects and architecture with harmonious design and colour. I don’t really have a design icon of this age. Many anonymous makers and designers of the past endlessly inspire me, especially the great quilt makers of the world.
and direct, and boldly tells the viewer a story that reveals its charm a little more every time it is observed.
When I’m not knitting or designing knitwear, I paint
murals and still lifes, make mosaics, design patchwork prints and quilts, write books about them, and my house, and when I’m not doing any of that, I like to do jigsaw puzzles whilst listening to Radio 4.
My favourite Rowan yarn from the current collection is Felted Tweed.
My favourite stitch is stocking stitch, which serves me just fine. The magic is in the colour combinations. The best fibre is 100% natural wool, it is king. My go-to knitting resource is the Vogue Knitting Ultimate Knitting Book.
when suffering doubt about my ability to paint as a young artist was from a female painter. When I told her I was worried that I only concentrated on what I liked in my work, she said, “Do what you like, but keep making it better.” Just what I needed at the time to keep going with confidence.
starts with the seed of an idea
from an object, usually from the past...
or some contemporary theme that is done so badly it misses the potential of the good idea. Then I try several versions, swatches of knitting or mock-ups of quilt blocks, or still lifes done in different scales and arrangements. Once I’ve seen what doesn’t work then I will sail away keeping whatever good elements I’ve stumbled on. It usually falls into place pretty quickly once I’ve cleared the inharmonious elements away. This is the same for knit, patchwork or painting.
on my knitting needles now
is a new project based on floral themes that I’m working on
where I revisit some of my older florals and get the chance to be inspired by them again.
I collect anything that pleases and stimulates me
usually textiles, pottery, beaded objects etc.
I'm always looking for good patterns and colours. I am happiest when I stumble on an old work and it still delights me. If I hadn't found textile designing I might well have been in the film and theatre world. I am very bad at keeping my workspace tidy and using up brain power on finicky details.
I am always hopeful that the younger and older makers of this world will discover the life-enhancing quantities of colourful knitting.