Kaffe Fassett at Mottisfont

Last weekend we drove down to Mottisfont, a National Trust property in Hampshire.  We had two goals: first, to walk through the beautiful walled gardens and grounds of this lovely country estate on a crisp autumn day, and second, to see an exhibit of Kaffe Fasset’s work.  It was a win-win!

The exhibit was arranged around colours, with each of five rooms organised around a colour theme.  It showcased some of Kaffe’s work in knitting, tapestry and quilting, from a career spanning 50 years.  Here I am standing in a corner of the Yellow room.  The chair, covered in needlepoint in a shell motif, is really spectacular.


Here is a closeup of the waistcoat on the wall behind me.


I especially liked the pink room, which featured, among other things, two fantastic quilts in shades of pinks and oranges.



Doug snapped the below shot of me getting up close to examine the top stitching on one of the quilts.  As you can see, I match the quilt!  (I am wearing my Laelia cardigan – blogged here – knit in a fantastic hand-dyed orange silk yarn by The Uncommon Thread, and carrying a Ted Baker handbag in a lovely shade of fucshia.)


There is some beautiful knitting on display.  Here are a few examples:




And some lovely juxtapositions of classic Kaffe patterns:


Mottisfont was originally founded as an Augustinian priory in 1201.  It has been transformed many times over the centuries, and is now primarily associated with Maud Russell who, along with her husband, purchased the property in 1934.  Maud’s diaries, written during the World War II period, were published last year.  The National Trust has done a very nice job of bringing Maud to life – through her witty and observant diary entries and through her fashion and decorating flair.


Here is a touch I liked: a basket of knitting in one of the drawing rooms, with an invitation to sit and knit.  These lovely girls were clearly having fun (and kindly consented to have their photo taken):


The gardens are beautiful, with big spacious lawns and lots of hidden corners.


I especially liked the walled gardens.  They have the formal structures you would expect in an English walled garden:


while still being delightfully wild and slightly unkempt:


Kaffe’s exhibit will be at Mottisfont until January 14, 2018.  If you go, you can enjoy a fat frog in the green room:


Or you can drool at the magnificent fruit and vegetable themed tapestries, such as this needlepoint chair:


Or maybe just enjoy the juxtapositions of knitted items from some of Kaffe’s classic knitting designs. I especially like Doug’s photo below showing a detail from a brightly coloured child’s sweater on top of a large knitted shawl.

I hope that you are enjoying some colour this weekend!

11 thoughts on “Kaffe Fassett at Mottisfont

  1. Thank you for this marvelous post! I almost felt as if I were there, enjoying the exhibit!! Wow, what artistry! His body of work is so impressive. And the photos of the walled garden are gorgeous!

  2. Oh Kelly I’m so happy you saw the show, I didn’t know it was on and now I’ll be badgering my friends to take me!

    And what a coincidence, I picked up a copy of his booklet ‘Kaffe’s California Patches ‘ yesterday, I now have all hos books and went to a talk of his when I was 17. One of the book prizes I won from school is ‘Glorious Colour ‘ and he has been a lifelong influence… lucky you for going!

  3. This makes me want to come and visit!

    I have 3 hobbies – knitting, gardening (not very good at it though), and dogs.

    Two out of 3 are covered here!


    • Dogs (on leads) are allowed at many National Trust properties, including Mottisfont, so you can have all three in one go! (Note that the dog can’t go into the house and see the Kaffe Fassett exhibit, so bring a friend to stay outside with the pup while you are enjoying the knitting!)

  4. Very Nice! Thanks for sharing. It is great fun to see your adventures of places I will probably never visit myself:)

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