Do you crochet and knit – one or the other or both?
I have been Crocheting for 38 years and Knitting for 8 years
How did you learn crochet (or knit)?
I learned to crochet from my Grandmother at the age of 7 in 1974. She taught me to crochet all the basic stitches with worsted weight yarn and a size H plastic hook in our first lesson. After that she gave me a size 6 steel and Size 10 cotton and I started to learn Italian Lace.
It took forever to learn to knit. Everyone in my family is a thrower and I could not get comfortable with yarn in my right hand. Finally a shop showed me how to knit continental style and I took off running!
How did you become a designer?
I met my first mentor, Terry Kimbrough, on the Crochet Partners list back in 1998. She encouraged me to start designing and in December 1998, I sold my first design! After that I had the courage to keep submitting designs and self publishing my own patterns as well.
How long have you been designing?
I have been designing for 14 years.
Do you design full time?
I do design full time at KRW Knitwear Studio as a freelancer and a self publisher.
Describe your typical day.
My typical day starts with getting up early(5 am!) and checking and responding to email. After that depending what is on my list, I will either be writing patterns up, swatching, or crocheting until my children get home from school at 3PM. I do take Facebook and Twitter breaks when I can. Many nights will find me in front of the TV working on a design as well.
What is your favorite type of design to create?
Honestly, these days, anything with Lace! Although I will admit that I do love creating afghans.
Where do you get your inspiration?
EVERYWHERE! I live in the Pacific Northwest, so the environment is a huge inspiration. Going shopping with my teenaged daughter looking at garments inspires me. Manytimes just a grouping of color can spur an idea. Also looking at my grandmothers patterns from Italy can inspire an idea!
What is your favorite yarn to use?
I love ANY yarn with alpaca or silk in it. Both in the same yarn and I am in heaven!
Do you have a favorite stitch?
I really love all the stitches, but lately half double is my favorite!
What design are you most proud of?
I am most proud of my Pineapple Dreams Shawl. It seems to be a favorite of everyones! You can see it here: http://www.ravelry.com/patterns/library/pineapple-dreams-shawl
What are you currently working on?
I'm working on my spring line of self published patterns as well as several designs for magazines.
Anything else you’d like to mention?
You can visit my website at http://www.krwknitwear.comI tweet @KRWKnitwear my Facebook fan page is https://www.facebook.com/KRWKnitwearStudio and my Ravelry group is at http://www.ravelry.com/groups/krw-knitwear-studio-fans
How do you “get away from it all”?
Hmmm, I really don’t ever get away from it all. If I am not designing, I am teaching Classes nationwide. I work one day a week in my local yarn shop and I am always crocheting or knitting, even in meetings at the kid’s school or at church!
Please list all your designs currently in print:
a. I Can’t Believe I’m Crocheting Socks – Leisure Arts
Learn to Delta Lace Crochet – Annie’s Attic
b. Fair Isle to Crochet – Leisure Arts
c. Shower of Cables – Leisure Arts
d. Crochet Rocks Socks – KRW Knitwear Studio
2. Patterns Individual and in magazines and other books are all found on Ravelry: http://www.ravelry.com/designers/karen-ratto-whooley?sort=alpha