Kaffe Fassett Designer Potrait

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.

design style

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.

Kaffe Fassett Designer Design Style
inspired by
Kaffe Fassett Designer Inspired By

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.

A successful design is one that is unfussy

and direct, and boldly tells the viewer a story that reveals its charm a little more every time it is observed.

Marble Wrap
Sampler scarf
Chinese rose coat
Contrast Squares
Zigzag wrap
Kaffe Fassett Designer Recent Design Centre
Kidsilk Haze Scarf
Black Multicolour Zig Zag Jacket

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.

The best advice I’ve ever been given

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.

design process

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.

Kaffe Fassett Designer Design Process
my knitting
Kaffe Fassett Designer My Knitting

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.

about me

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.

Kaffe Fassett Designer About Me
The future of craft…

I am always hopeful that the younger and older makers of this world will discover the life-enhancing quantities of colourful knitting.

Shop All Kaffe Fassett Designs