Did you know that "Kaffe Fassett" rhymes with "safe asset"? Neither did I until today. I share this because I've been saying it wrong for years. AnywaDid you know that "Kaffe Fassett" rhymes with "safe asset"? Neither did I until today. I share this because I've been saying it wrong for years. Anyway!
This is a collection of 20 quilts, some of them in 2-3 different colorways to give you some ideas of what you can do. I looooove Fassett's sense of color, movement, and play. I love his honesty about the fact that he doesn't do the sewing himself, and he gives a lot of credit to his collaborator for how the quilts turn out. That said, his unique sense of color is beautifully on display in all of these quilts, and his writing style is warm and passionate and humane. He really loves what he does, and he loves looking at things and noodling around with color. His quilt sensibility is a little different than mine, but it's still a masterwork in how to get across color mood.
I think my favorite quilts were a saffron-gold number with circles, a set of concentric squares made out of striped shirting fabric, and a window-covering of single-layer patchwork. All of them are things I could imagine making and living with.
Since I was not looking to make a specific quilt and I just wanted to bathe in the glory, it was a fine library find. I briefly glanced at the instructions, and there were some good tips on doing the concentric blocks with strip piecing, and none of it seemed so poorly written that it would be impossible to follow. I imagine buying it expensive, because the full color printing on many pages is not cheap, but it might make an amazing coffee table book. (or a calendar. mmmm)
Read if: You love absorbing ideas from other designers, you love color.
Skip if: You are looking for unique construction techniques or step-by-step instructions for a nervous quilter....more
As usual, Fassett's sense of color and design are stunning. There's this depth richness and playfulness that I seldom see in other designers.
I feel liAs usual, Fassett's sense of color and design are stunning. There's this depth richness and playfulness that I seldom see in other designers.
I feel like he is coming at knitting from some place not very familiar to me -- there are a lot of giant motifs and unsecured floats and things that can really only be intarsia. It's lovely! On the other hand, as pretty as it is, it looks like a righteous pain to knit. Like just... not born knit, y'know? Like a person would end up with something lovely, but only after cursing the names of their ancestors because of the four color rows of extreme misery.
I bet the patterns would make amazing cross stitch patterns, though!
Read if: You are looking for color and pattern inspiration.
Skip if: You are knitting while doing anything else at all.
Also read: any book on traditional stranded colorwork....more
When a mediocre mystery novel and a historical infodump have a baby, it looks a lot like this.
I really think the most engaging part was the amount ofWhen a mediocre mystery novel and a historical infodump have a baby, it looks a lot like this.
I really think the most engaging part was the amount of historical research. The characters were uninteresting, the murder plot a little complicated but ultimately bland. But I was literally, genuinely riveted by the problem of whats-his-name's boots. Where does a Victorian gentleman get warm boots? What do warm boots look like in Victorian London? How do gentlemen's clubs work?
As far as the historicity of the characters, it is decidedly in the "costume historical" end of the pool. Lenox is great friends with an widowed lady who apparently lives without the benefit or censure of any other lady, and all of society just accepts this, because she is magic, and she comes over to his house and has intimate teas and sees him before dinner and it's all hunky-dory? Yeah, no. She would worry. He would worry. Even if they were internally fine with it (unlikely), it would be super weird.
But hey, let me tell you about the decor in the house of commons!
Read if: You really like reading historical mysteries for the history.
Skip if: You are looking for an interesting, psychological mystery, ala Conan Doyle.
Also read: Anne Perry, which is more nuanced. ...more
I had no particular expectations around this book, so it would be wrong to say I was "pleasantly surprised", but it was pleasant. I love a noir mysterI had no particular expectations around this book, so it would be wrong to say I was "pleasantly surprised", but it was pleasant. I love a noir mystery that's well-executed, and this one had all the requisite ingredients -- hard-boiled characters, dames, decaying glory, fedoras, old money, and nightclubs.
I really enjoyed the characters and their different motivations and demons. Even the secondary characters were well sketched. The romance was compelling and sweet, and I wanted to keep reading it.
The actual mystery was not terribly twisty, but it didn't need to be in a book of this size. It was just right for what it was. I was a little sad, because I liked the murderer, but that's a strength of the story. The wartime details were pretty great -- not too many, but they rang true. Tires were harder to get than gasoline, etc.
Read if: You want a little story with some "sex and crime and human grime in monochrome for one thin dime" that is also an affirmation about love and trust.
Skip if: You cannot get into reading a story about a male/male relationship. You feel like noir is tedious.
Also read: Point of Dreams for a similar relationship dynamic in a very different setting.
My one niggle was that it would have been easy to sell Spain as bisexual, and I felt Lanyon was trying to sell him as a closeted homosexual instead. Hmph....more