Today, with a couple of knitting friends, I went to hear a presentation by designer Kaffe Fassett. It was a simple format - a lecture illustrated by still photos. But it had the kind of excellence you get when someone is absolutely knowledgeable about the content of their talk, and so aware of their audience and what they want to hear that the talk flows naturally and entertainingly. Real mastery.
I've written before about the unexpected pleasure of discovering Kaffe Fassett's work (along with thousands of others) in the 1980s. This talk and the slides had everything I expected from Kaffe Fasset. Lots of fearless colour; injunctions to see the world around you and the richness of its patterns; a delight in the excess of pattern and colour; and the pleasure of imperfections. But it was also clear that Kaffe works hard and relatively systematically, and that he is undaunted by the techniques behind his work. I think this is what I most envy him; the capacity to embark on such a range of textile and other crafts - knitting, needlepoint, quilts, mosaics - with confidence that his technique will be good enough to have the impact he wishes.
The occasion had been organised by quilters, and so there was an emphasis on quilting, and some wonderful examples of quilts. But many of the photos were of knitting and there was great inspiration to be gained from the colours and the combinations of patterns.
The talk and the relaxed Q&A session afterwards passed in a flash. It was a wonderful way to spend Sunday. My head is full of ideas.