by Brendon Mably
In the 1980s, Kaffe Fassett took the knitting world by storm. He revolutionized the way that knitters worked with color, giving us permission to let our creativity free and use twenty or more colors in a single piece. The second sweater I knit was Kaffe Fassett’s Ribbon sweater from his 1985 book Glorious Knitting. His gift to knitters was helping us believe that we could do anything, even undertaking one of his sweaters soon after learning to knit.
Brendon Mably took over running the “Color in Design” workshops and the Kaffe Fassett studio. Most knitters will never be able to attend one of these workshops in person; however Knitting Color: design inspiration from around the world explains Mably’s three-step process, then illustrates it by showing garments alongside the scenery and/or indigenous fabrics which inspired them. Throughout Mably puts into practice his process: 1) look at the color combinations and the proportion of each color in the design; 2) assess the tonal range and 3) put in the subtle transitions from shade to shade to bring the piece to life.
The Kaffe Fassett Studio is known for loose fitting, over-sized garments and Knitting Color does not break with tradition. Mably’s designs are suitable for novice knitters, the challenge comes in managing the multitude of colors. Patterns range from children’s vests to pillows to oversized coats.
If your penchant is for minimal ease in your clothing then this book will function as inspiration in planning a garment better suited to your individual preferences. The colors are worked Fair Isle and intarsia style, although knitters can easily utilize another knitting method and all twenty patterns are designed using Rowan yarns.
The most compelling component of Knitting Color is Mably’s reflections on his travels, the inspiration for each garment and how he sees color in the world around him.
Reviewed by Janelle Martin
Janelle is an addicted reader and a book reviewer for Armchair Interviews. A passionate knitter in what remains of her free time, she wonders, "Why can't we knit at work?". Her blog can be viewed at http://antheras.blogspot.com