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Monday, March 14, 2011

Karen Whooley (featured Designer) and her new book - "I Can't Believe I'm Crocheting Socks!"

Today I'm featuring fellow designer, Karen Whooley,
(see her bio below) and her new book, I Can't Believe I'm Crocheting Socks (Leisure Arts #5263)

Karen has authored several books and designs for crochet magazines as well. Even though she's been designing since 1998, I've just gotten to know her recently and love her bubbly, enthusiastic personality, which really shows through the book. She's passionate about her work and loves to share her experiences in crochet with her fans and anyone looking to learn new techniques.

I'm kind of embarrassed to say this, since I've been crocheting for 38+ years, but I have never made crochet socks! Now the cats out of the bag, but what a better way to reveal this fact than to tell you how excited I am to learn! I never really had a huge desire to make socks because I thought it would be boring and time consuming. Not! I found out that's not true at all and I owe my awareness of this to Karen. I've had so much fun working on my socks and it's been hard to even put them down! The fantastic new sock yarns that are available, with gorgeous color combinations, make it impossible to be bored! I was so wrong and now I'm addicted! You can stick this tiny project into your purse and take it anywhere. Thanks Karen for giving me the confidence I needed to start my very first sock project!

The minute I got my copy  in the mail, I anxiously looked through it to find just the right pattern for me. Since I love lace, I had initially decided on the Lace Socks, but thought I'd better start at the beginning with one of the basic sock patterns. First of all, the book tells you how to measure your foot to get the perfect fit, followed by a Toe Up sock, and a Cuff Down sock. I played around a little with each one, and finally decided on the Toe Up sock. I don't have it completely finished, but want to show you a sneak peak of my very first sock! Karen's instructions are very clear and easy enough for an advanced beginner, but challenging enough if you are experienced at crocheting. I love the colors of the yarn I chose. It's ONline Supersock 100 in "Candy" color, which I bought at my local yarn shop, Fiberworks. It's sold here also.

My first sock!
Another helpful tool is that Karen has a section in the book on the best
fibers to use for socks (stretchability) and the best yarn weights. Since crochet is denser (thicker) than knitting, she has you use hooks that will make the sock nice enough so you can actually wear them in shoes!

 Other features of this book are:
All photos used by permission

1. Each part of the sock (toe, heel, cuff, foot, etc) is shown in different colors, making it very easy to understand. An example of this is in the photo at the right and below. I LOVE  that  feature and I'm sure you will too!

2. One of the best features of the patterns is that there is no seaming whatsoever! I like that a lot!
3. There are step by step explanations
4. Large print
5. Easy to follow charts and diagrams
6. Lots of colorful photos
7. Nine different patterns (including patterns for men and young children)
8. Wide variety of stitch patterns (Cable st, Lace st socks, Ripple st socks, Tube sport socks, Ankle socks, Ribbed Cuff socks, Cobblestone st, etc)

 My Favorite Socks in the book are the Lace Socks

All the patterns are great, and it was hard for me to pick a favorite! My second choice is the Ripple socks. I highly recommend this book if you have never made socks before! You will not be disappointed! I hope you'll check it out and have as much fun as I am having with my very first socks! Now I can say, "I Can't Believe I'm Crocheting Socks!"  This is so exciting to me!  Thanks Karen!

 About the Author - Karen Whooley

Karen Whooley learned to crochet at age 7. She was taught by her Italian “Nonna” (Grandmother) and learned all the stitch names in Italian! Since Nonna didn’t know how to read patterns written in English, Karen had to teach herself.
Karen didn’t start her career as a designer until 1998. Up until that point she would follow patterns she bought in the store. If something didn’t work out to her satisfaction, she would modify it. Then in December of 1998, she met Terry Kimbrough through one of the many crochet lists on the Internet. Terry, who has always been one of Karen’s favorite designers, encouraged her to try her hand at designing something. Her first designs were Flower Dishcloths and to her amazement, Annie’s Attic liked them! From that point her career took off! When her design career started, Karen also opened the doors of Crochet Legacy. Crochet Legacy grew from just offering a few patterns, to including accessories, classes and workshops and a whole lot more. In 2004, Karen finally learned to knit. In January 2007, Crochet Legacy became KRW  Knitwear Studio, to include her patterns in knit as well as crochet. Karen lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest (Washington state) with her husband, David, of 20 years and her two children.

   To find out more about Karen, her designs and books go HERE.

  Karen Ratto-Whooley
  President, Creative Design and Development


  1. I haven't tried sock, yet..Now I want too

  2. I'm so glad I inspired you to want to make socks! It really is fun! There's only 1 problem - now I want to go out and buy lots more sock yarn!

  3. Your Pop Goes Crochet post is coming up 'Not Found'.

    As for socks? I want to make them so bad. I cannot do heels. I end up frogging every time so I've given up. :o(

  4. Oh, thanks for letting me know about the post not coming up! I had not planned to post that yet! It was supposed to be in drafts!


  5. I love crocheting my own socks since making my firt pair a year or so ago. I've recently sworn off of buying any new patterns or pattern books, then you come out with this one! sigh~ My mama taught me not to swear, and she was right, because now I've got to buy your book!
    ~LOL~ Then I'll have more good reasons to buy more sock yarns!

  6. I love sock yarn and use it for far more than just making socks. The whole blog tour that this book has been on has really made me curious about crocheting socks, though, so perhaps I will actually start using it for its intended purpose. :)

  7. Ok, socks, it is...I'm going to give it a whirl1 thanks for the inspiration!


  8. I love those lace socks! How creative. What a great job Karen has done!

  9. Thanks to all of you for your comments! I know it will make Karen happy :) As soon as I finish my socks I'll post them, but for now, I have to be packing. Oh yeah! And starting a design I did that was accepted last week. I'd better let that be the last one til i get moved!

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