The knitting obsession was intense this winter.
Not only has it been cold, but the world seems to be getting madder and badder with Trump, Brexit, the climate emergency, the Religious Freedom bill, the men still stuck on Manus…I could go on but I won’t. The soothing rhythm of the needles has been therapy.
This year, too, I’ve embraced colour like never before. And enjoyed Kaffe Fasset’s autobiography Dreaming in Colour.
What a happy man. How lovely, just occasionally, to read about an untormented childhood.
He was born in 1937 to bohemian parents who ran a famous restaurant, Nepenthe, on an undeveloped part of the Californian coastline near Big Sur. (They bought the land from Orson Welles!)
Their children got to play and explore in the natural world of sea and forest and beach, express themselves with dance, music, art and crafts, and mingle with Nepenthe’s clientele of artists, film makers, actors, writers and other creative people. After going to the local public school, he attended a boarding school run by disciples of Indian guru Krishnamurti. He was never going to be ordinary, was he?
Kaffe was always going to be gay, too – but (in this autobiography, at least) he writes as if this was unquestioningly accepted. He seems to have lived a kind of charmed life, full of serendipitous meetings and connections and much generosity and kindness. His early paintings – mainly still life – are beautiful but often restrained in palette. It is when he discovers wool that he goes wild with artful and often explosive combinations in knitting and tapestry. The encouraging thing is that so much beauty can be produced using only stocking stitch, and pretty simple shapes. Inspiring and cheering and utterly lovely for the darker days.
I have new little great-niece, so I made her a little hat.