Kaffe Fassett was born in San Francisco in 1937. Kaffe started as a fine artist, winning a scholarship to study at The Boston Museum of Fine Arts School when he was nineteen. He left after three months to paint in London, and he still continues to exhibit his paintings. After settling in England in 1964, his passion for colour led him to knitting and designing knitwear for Missoni and Bill Gibb amongst others, and his hand-knitted garments are now in museum collections all over the world. He later took up needlepoint and patchwork, creating both his own works and designs for others to make.
Kaffe ventured into the world of colourful yarn on a visit to a Scottish wool mill with fashion designer Bill Gibb. Inspired by the colours in the landscape, Kaffe was thrilled to find the same colours in yarns. He bought 20 colours of Shetland wool and some knitting needles, and on the train back to London a fellow passenger taught him how to knit. His first design appeared as a full page spread in Vogue Knitting magazine.