Saturday, 24 November 2007

Soo Meets her Knitting Hero


Friday was a banner day in my knitting life -- I went to the V&A to hear Kaffe Fassett speak. Despite my love for all things Kaffe I had never been to one of his lectures or workshops so I was pretty excited. (In this picture Kaffe is giving some other Susan advice on how to fix her knitted collar.)

Being me, I was also likely to abandon the whole thing at the last minute. But a firm shove out the door by a colleague (the Caked Crusader in fact) and I was on my way.

My cab driver was greatly amused by the fact that I was going to a museum, for a lecture on a Friday night. BY CHOICE! When I explained it was to listen to a knitting designer he knew he had the rest of the journey sewn up as far as commentary went. "Knitting designer? Well, at least it won't take long. Knit 1, purl 1. That's all there is isn't it?" I laughed and asked if he thought that maybe I was being conned - because they were charging me £18 for 2 hours. He advised me that the only way to get value for the money was to drink A LOT at the wine reception.


The auditorium was full and a few latecomers had to sit on the stairs. Kaffe was charming and inspiring and pretty funny. You can tell he loves what he does. The talk was accompanied by a slide show of some of his work and the objects and scenes that inspire it. There was a Q&A session and my favourite question and answer of the evening went something like:


Q: Have you ever made anything that didn't work, or that was horrible.


A: Kaffe answered that question (basically no, he watches and refines as he goes along and he always learns something from a piece) and then went on to comment that he thinks most people give up too early. And how he's often so frustrated at workshops because he can see the beginning of a great piece but the person working it loses confidence and rips it out - way too early. They don't give the piece time to work.

And I do think that is particularly true with colour knitting. Each row and colour adds so much to the rows around it - you really do have to persevere in order to 'get' the picture. When I was making the coat I was often amazed at how a colour would affect the colours around it - sometimes quite dramatically changing the look.


During the wine reception there was an opportunity to have his new book signed and meet Kaffe. I had brought along my copy of Kaffee Fassett at the V&A (1989ish) and the coat, so I ventured to the signing area. I was a bit babbly (eeeeee) and my voice an octave or so above its usual register - but I met the man himself.

He was happy to sign my older book and seemed genuinely pleased to see the coat. I gushed about how much I loved it. He said it was lovely and it made his heart sing to see people take on the really big projects. Eeeeee.


I didn't take my cabbies advice about drinking a lot of the free wine at the reception -- but I definitely feel I got my money's worth!!

In other knitting news I feel the need to rant about knots in self patterning yarn. Particularly when they make no attempt to keep the colour continuity. I mean - the WHOLE point of self patterning yarn is the pattern. If they mess that up.... Grrrr.....

18 comments:

cpurl17 said...

Sounds like a fabulous evening!! I'm so glad you wore the coat--it's a work of art. I bet it just thrills knitting designers to see their work come to life in the hands of others.

lv2knit said...

Your coat outshines everything else! How cool to meet your hero. I have met Alice Starmore a few times over the years and never lose the awe -- the gob smacked, slack jawed, drooling awe. It looks like such a fabulous evening!!

fleegle said...

It's so lovely to meet heros, isn't it? Your coat is so fabulous, he should have gushed too.

I want your tea cozy. Okay, I want the book with the tea cozy pattern. I gotta go search your blog and find the reference...

HPNY Knits said...

I am so glad yo went and wore your coat! he does love to see his work knit up.!

LittleBerry said...

glad you had a great time and you took your coat to show him, it's a stunner....

clarabelle said...

Glad you made it and KF got to see your coat! Exciting stuff!

I do like the ?blanket with the diamond shapes that he's holding up.

Jacqui said...

Now that sounds like a good night out! I think your taxi driver would despair of me too :o)

Holly said...

How fun, Soo! I am so happy you brought the coat to show him - I bet he was quite impressed! Do you listen to Lime & Violet's podcast? It's not everyone's taste, but there was a funny story about a Kaffe interaction in what I think was the most recent show. Oh, and I wouldn't have hesitated to pay what you did for the chance to hear him speak!

shortoldlady said...

Wow - lovely knittings! Thank you for commenting on my humble starts. Thanks for the eye candy!

Queen of the froggers said...

Wow ... what a great time you had. I would have loved to be there.

Moggle said...

Sounds like you had a brilliant night! It must have been wonderful to meet your knitting hero.

Kay said...

Eee! Glad you had a good time, and right on for bringing the coat with you.

modelwidow said...

Lucky you, meeting Kaffe and I think everyone should have gushed over your coat - it is fantastic.

Batty said...

Lucky you! Kaffe himself, that's just amazing. I'm often not that crazy about the shapes of things he designs, but the colors are breathtakingly beautiful.

Viknits said...

Wow! How exciting to meet him! It sounds like you had a fantastic time! It must be incredibly satisfying for him to see your coat all knitted up!
I'm often inspired by his shapes and colours but not by the combinations, if that makes sense. It's really inspiring stuff!

Viknits said...

Thankyou! (Can't really add to that!)
Vik x

WonderMike said...

I would have DIED and gone to fiber heaven. You lucky, lucky woman. That's so cool... and your KF jacket is a winner!

Tinaspice said...

Hi Soo,
I've just stumbled across your blog and fabulous ginger bread houses - they're amazing!
I thought I'd look back at one of your oldest posts to find a fellow Kate Fassett fan (I've never had the pleasure of meeting him though) and sheep tea cosie knitter.
I'll pop back for another read one day.
Best wishes, Tina