Meet Karen


Karen Whooley

Thank you so much for your interest in my crochet patterns, books, and classes. I love to meet fellow yarn lovers! It is people like you who keep me designing and teaching!

I learned to crochet at the age of 7. My Nonna (Italian for “grandmother”) taught me to crochet one summer when my younger sister and I were visiting with her.  She thought I watched way too much television so she sent my sister out into the yard with my grandfather and sat me down with a red plastic crochet hook and some worsted weight yarn and proceeded to teach me the basic stitches – chain, single, half double, double, and triple.  In two hours, while my mom was out running errands, I had not only learned the stitches, but I had covered a wooden coat hanger with them!  My mom still has that coat hanger and won’’t give it up!

Needless to say, I was HOOKED!

A few weeks later, the next time I saw my Nonna, she gave me a size 6 steel hook and size 10 cotton thread and I learned to work in the round and from then on for 5 years or so I learned to make lace. Oh, I crocheted in yarn as well, but Nonna learned to crochet in Italy from her Nonna (My great, great grandmother) in a small town in Tuscany just outside of Lucca, and in those days all of the women in the household made lace, so I learned as well.  But Nonna didn’t teach me from patterns. Since she only could speak Italian, any pattern I brought her we used a magnifying glass and figured out the pattern from the photos.  I didn’t learn how to read a pattern until I taught myself in my teenage years from Leisure Arts booklets!

Because I learned to crochet from photos and word-of-mouth, I have always been a designer.  Even when I could read a pattern, I always changed up the item, from construction to how it was edged, and even the stitch pattern. Just about everything I made was inspired by the patterns, not from the pattern directly.

And that is how I got started designing!  Back in 1998, I met one of my favorite designers online in an internet forum.  She saw the work that I would display on my personal website that was just basically a photo album, and convinced me to submit some original designs!  The very first ones were purchased and off my design career went!

After all these years, I still love designing!  Over the years I have been lucky to work with some of the best yarn and publishing companies out there. You will see my work all over.  But my heart has always been in self-publishing!  I have self-published several books over the years and more will be coming!

Copyright ©1998-2017 Karen Whooley. All Rights Reserved