Designer Spotlight: Karen Whooley

Hello Everyone!

I am Karen Whooley, indie designer and instructor from Everett, WA. I started crocheting in 1974 and knitting in 2004.  It took me so long to learn to knit because once I learned to crochet from my grandmother, I had a hard time learning to knit as I was so used to having my yarn in my left hand. Everyone I knew was a thrower.  In 2004 I learned to knit continental at a local yarn shop. And what was my first knitting project?   A sweater for my husband!

I have been a crochet designer since 1998 when I sold my very first patterns to Annie’s Attic. (Now Annie’s)  I started designing knit patterns in 2010.  I have been a national crochet instructor since 2004 traveling all over the USA teaching technique and project classes to crocheters and knitters. Though I am now comfortable as a knit designer, I leave teaching knit classes to the wonderful knitting instructors already out there.

Although I work with a variety of yarns, my favorite yarns to work with are lace and fingering weights. When I learned to crochet more than 40 years ago, my grandmother taught me the art of Italian Lace.  By the time I hit 12 or 13 I was so sick of lace that I gravitated to sport and worsted. But in the last 10 years or so, I have gone back to my roots and teach as well as design in the finer weights of yarn.

I do have to say that my favorite Anzula yarn is Breeze. The silk/linen blend in a lace weight yarn is perfect for a crocheter!  In fact, you will see a design coming out in that yarn spring of 2017!  But if I had to pick an Anzula Colorway? Honestly, I cannot pick one. Lottie, as seen in in my new pattern Imaginant, is absolutely to die for!  I love Opal too.  And Persimmon is another favorite. And any of the shades of blue.. Blue is my favorite color.

Currently I have 3 knit projects cast on and 2 crochet projects on the hook. The three knit projects ae for family.. 2 pairs of socks (one for 18 year old daughter and one for 20 year old son) and a sweater for my aforementioned son.  The crochet projects include a sample for one of my classes and a new project for a forthcoming book that I cannot share with you yet!

Now let's talk about Imaginant. Imaginant brings together the ideas of a shawl worked side-to-side, worked all in one piece and includes the edging as part of each row. Once you have completed the pattern, the shawl is done!

When I conceived Imaginant, I was crocheting a lot of shawls from side to side.  I love the idea of making the entire shawl from one end to the other, with all the stitch pattern changes and the edging all in one piece.  Imaginant is the first shawl I have designed in knitting this way and I love how it turned out.  And I think it is my favorite knitting pattern I have designed to date! I chose Anzula’s Luster because I love the silk in it and the lovely squish factor it has.  And the colorway Lottie?  Lets just say I saw it live for the first time in January 2016 at the TNNA Show in San Diego and I fell in love.  I already had the pattern written then, but was shopping for colors. One look at Lottie and I knew it was a match made in Heaven.

Imaginant is a lightweight shawl with a simple lace pattern that even a beginning knitter will find easy. My favorite part is that it only uses 2 skeins of Luster so when you are done you only have 4 ends to bury.  But the fact that the pattern customizes so easily, you can either reduce or increase the size simply by adding or removing repeats is my favorite part of the pattern. The pattern is completely charted, but also has written instructions so you can knit up the shawl with whichever instructions make more sense to you!

I hope you enjoy Imaginant as much as I do. Until the end of day pacific time Monday, August 8, 2016 I am offering 35% off the pattern! Just go to this blog post on my website to get all the details! And be sure to let me know when you’ve made yours!  Link it up to the pattern page on Ravelry or send me a photo any time!

I mentioned earlier that I have another pattern coming out in the spring using Anzula’s Breeze.  It is actually one pattern in a book that will launch in early 2017. I can't share much more about it yet, but if you sign up for my newsletter, you will be among the first to know when it comes out and all the details before the actual launch.  You will also be the first to know when my next patterns are released this fall (there are 4 before the holidays!) I am also on Ravelry, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, or I blog on my own website at  I hope you’ll say hi to me which ever is your favorite place!