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Kaffe Fassett: Dreaming in Color: An Autobiography


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  • STEWART TABORI & CHANG PUBLISHING-Kaffe Fassett: Dreaming In Color
  • Kaffe Fassett has led an extraordinary life and is a captivating storyteller with a vivid memory
  • Published 2012
29 new from $24.32 14 used from $22.18 1 collectible from $49.95

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Frequently Bought Together

Kaffe Fassett: Dreaming in Color: An Autobiography + Kaffe Quilts Again: 20 Favorite Quilts in New Colorways from Rowan + Kaffe Fassett Quilts: Shots & Stripes: 24 New Projects Made with Shot Cottons and Striped Fabrics
Price for all three: $66.39

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Product Details

  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 1 x 10 inches ; 1.4 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 2.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Shipping: This item is also available for shipping to select countries outside the U.S.
  • ASIN: 158479996X
  • Item model number: STC-99962
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (73 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #23,934 in Arts, Crafts & Sewing (See Top 100 in Arts, Crafts & Sewing)
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Product Description

Kaffe Fassett has led an extraordinary life and is a captivating storyteller with a vivid memory. Born in 1937, he spent much of his youth in Big Sur, California, where his parents bought a cabin from Orson Welles and transformed it into the world-famous Nepenthe restaurant, a gathering place for artists and bohemians. After attending a boarding school run by the disciples of Krishnamurti, an Indian guru, he studied painting at the School of the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston, then traveled to England, where he made his home. After an inspiring trip to Inverness, Scotland, Fassett began designing knitwear for Bill Gibb, and then the Missonis, Vogue magazine, and private clients like Lauren Bacall and Barbra Streisand, and, in the process, revolutionized the handknitting world with his explosive use of color. Further explorations led him to needlepoint, mosaics, rugmaking, tapestries, yarn and fabric design, costume and set design, and quilting. Now in his seventies, Fassett continues to produce new work and to travel worldwide to teach and lecture. In this intimate autobiography, Fassett shares rich, detailed stories about his lifelong creative journey as well as hundreds of glorious photos taken along the way.

Praise for Kaffe Fassett: Dreaming in Color:

“Kaffe Fassett is to color what Julia Child was to French cooking.” —Knitters Review

“Lavishly illustrated with photographs from his life and work and dishing on everyone from Dustin Hoffman to Princess Margaret, Dreaming in Color describes a charmed life filled with creativity, big personalities, travels and not a little serendipity.” —Vogue Knitting

“Shapes and patterns are everywhere; they lie waiting for the person who wants to see them. It's the bricolage aspect behind his work and, arguably, Fassett himself: arranging disparate things to create something dynamic and new.” —Vogue Knitting

“This book would be a beautiful gift to receive or give. It is like finding the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.”
—Examiner.com

“A glance through his new autobiography shows that this is a man who, in design terms, hit the ground running and has never stopped.” —Selvedge magazine

“Dreaming in Color, lavishly illustrated with 500 color pictures, is a feast for the eyes.” —Shelf Awareness

“Reading this book is like peeling an orange on a gray winter’s day—every single one of your senses is sparked as you get sprayed with infectious creativity.” —Knitty.com

“Kaffe Fassett is a luminary in the world of textiles and knitting, spreading the gospel of color in his books and travels.” —The Houston Chronicle

“It is a beautiful book, no question. Beautifully designed, thoughtfully composed, well-written, Kaffe takes you on his creative journey. We all—quilters, knitters, needlepointers, and just plain art lovers—are indeed very fortunate that he would share all of this with the world.” —Getting Stitched on the Farm

“Fassett is a kind of Harrison Ford of the knitting world….” —The Washington Post

“Kaffe Fassett is a luminary in the world of textiles and knitting, spreading the gospel of color in his books and travels.”—The Houston Chronicle

“This book is a gorgeous coffee table treasure but it so much more than the vibrant photos, it is a moving and interesting autobiography and I am so glad it has been published. What a treat to read, hold, soak in and enjoy.” —Susan B. Anderson

“Brimming over with beautiful eye-candy and intimate details, this colorful book is sure to charm and inspire.” —Love of Knitting magazine

“One of the book’s many virtues is how effectively Fassett conveys his enthusiasm about his work to the reader. ‘I’m st

Customer Reviews

This is a great read for fans of Kaffe Fassett.
teresa uzzle
This book is one that I will treasure forever and ever and will go back to time and time again.
Kate Martin
This is a very interesting book which would be extremely enjoyable for non-knitters as well.
Brenda V. Digges

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Kate Martin on September 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I met Kaffe and Brandon a few years back when I worked as a hostess for a quilting workshop that they gave. This gave me a wonderful opportunity to work with them up close and personal. I found them to be very warm, approachable, and insanely gifted with color. I fetched a delicious beet salad for lunch for both of them. I sat with them at lunch and got to ask many of the questions that I had been curious about. It was a precious time because how often does one have an opportunity like that?

I have been a huge fan of Kaffe's from W-A-Y back to his very first book. Having knitted since age 5 I had never seen knitting patterns like his before. He used color in his designs like no one had ever used before. They were really quite radical for the time. This was in the early 80's. He took the knitting industry by storm and I imagine that sales blew the roof off of yarn shops because there were ton's of colors in each sweater. I have bought many of his books over the years and they are all great but this book is the cherry on top of them all. This is not a pattern book, it is historical timeline showing how his designs have evolved over the years.

Kaffe's family tree has so many gifted and interesting people who were trail blazers for their time. They really thought outside of the box considering the time in which they lived. To give you an example, Kaffe's great grandparents were the founders of the artist community of Carmel by the Sea. Kaffe's grandmother was also a very gifted painter who spent many years living and traveling all over Europe. His mother moved to Europe for six years to join her and told young Kaffe vivid stories of the clothes she wore and the things she saw while living there.
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20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Meg Cox VINE VOICE on September 27, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Kaffe Fassett is a quiet revolutionary. An art school dropout who was warned against giving into the seductive pull of craft, lest it ruin his reputation as a fine artist, Fassett is a unique and fascinating icon for creative types in every medium.

Kaffe turned the knitting world on its head, producing complex patterns that required upwards of 100 different colors in a single garment. Then, he moved on to the quilt world. He's tried his deft hand at drawing, painting, mosaics, needlepoint, costume and set design and more. He has painted murals in the mansions of heiresses. The common theme through all Kaffe Fassett's work is a deep passion for rich color. He sees the world very differently from most of us, and this fine memoir allows us to see what he sees.

There is a kind of scrapbook or travelogue quality to the book, but at a very high level, and one of the most exciting aspects is the way the visuals are layered: Kaffe has put snippets of his recent fabric designs next to paintings he made decades ago, and compared both to paintings that informed his taste since he first viewed them in the great museums of Europe as a young man.

In anyone else's hands, this might seem like excessive name-dropping, but the anecdotes really do convey the enchanted quality of this man's life. After all, his parents really did build and run the hippest eatery on the California coast in the '50s, and movie stars and famous writers populated his youth as a result. Kaffe really did move to London during the swinging '60s and get to hang out with a lot of the creative movers and shakers of his era.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By j on September 26, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I do not usually "gush" about books...and I was not sure I wanted to pay so much for this book...BUT boy, am I glad that I did.
I do own his knitting books and I admit I was curious about his background. The book arrived today so I have not had the chance to read much..but the presentation is magnificent. The pictures and the paper used are really high quality and the photos are all carefully labeled which adds a lot to my enjoyment.
What a fascinating life he has had.
Anyone who is not sure whether they should buy this book....indulge yourself. OK, now I am going back to start reading....
Having just read Chapter 1, I am just amazed at Mr. Fassett's background...the people in his early life who influenced him spanned so many areas from philosophy to show business to government to leaders in business...his own family...parents, grandparents were just unbelievable....WOW...what an enjoyable book!!
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Karen Tiede VINE VOICE on December 30, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I'm not normally a reviewer who jumps on when 20+ people have already said their bit, but I really really do love this book and am SO glad I got it for Christmas and wanted to add my piece to the pile.

If you are someone who has been a little hesitant to give the Kaffe enterprise any more of your money because you think some of the books overlap in content a bit more than you're comfortable with (IMO), go ahead and indulge yourself on this one. Yes, you already own a few of the images. Yes, you're a bit familiar with the story.

But if you're thinking he burst out of nowhere with the publication of Glorious Knits, you will be gratified to see that he did his time in the art trenches; that the 10,000 hours to mastery rule applies to him, too, and that it has not all been golden. (Even if he was a California Boy.) As we used to hear on the radio, "now, for the rest of the story."

And the "rest of the story" is bigger and more interesting than I expected. I thought I was asking for a picture book. The pictures are good but the stories are better. And the stories are more detailed and nuanced than (at least I recall from reading) the stories in the knitting and quilting books.

Sure, the story is a bit self-centered. It's an autobiography, written by someone who writes in color, not words (I think other people do the pattern writing in his books). I didn't find it bothersome.

There's still another book I want him to write for me, and maybe I'm the only one who'd buy it, and maybe I should hunt up a workshop but $25 is easier to come by than a trip to England. Dreaming in Color only HINTS at how he comes up with the colors he uses.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews