(This is a review I published on Amazon earlier today.)
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. I don’t NEED step-by-step projects identifying which of his fabrics was used, or which Rowan colors went into what sweater where. (Completely understand, however, that the bulk of the market lies in step-by-step project books.) Barring the opportunity to sit next to the Fassett team on a design trip and watch / hear / learn what they see and how they store color data and pull it out again in a fabric collection, Dreaming in Color is a pretty darn good next-best-thing.