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Monday, 13 June 2011

Blog Interview - Karen Ratto Whooley Author of 'I cant believe I am Crocheting Socks' and Professional Crocheter

Karen Ratto Whooley Author of 'I can't Believe I am Crocheting Socks'

I thought it would be interesting to hear the perspective of a successful Business Woman, who has turned their craft into a career.  Karen is the Author of the book offered in my 'Give Away'.

She has successfully turned her crochet into a profession.  I am sure many of us wish our crafts could become our full time pursuits.  I 'e-mailed' Karen and she kindly agreed to answer the following questions for my first ever 'Blog Interview'.  I think you will agree Karen is quite an inspiration and it is all thanks to her 'Nonna' and that first plastic Crochet hook.  I wonder how many of us have a similar 'Nonna' matriarch to thank for our craft skills, who knows one day we may be lucky enough to become a 'Nonna' ourselves and hand this knowledge down.  
How long have you been crocheting and how did you learn?
I have been crocheting for 34 years.When I was just 7 years old, my Nonna (Italian for “Grandmother”) Thought I watched way too much television back in 1974! She gave me a plastic crochet hook and a ball of yarn and in 2 hours I had covered a crochet hook in crochet stitches! After that I was hooked!
You can see a picture of my Nonna AND the Covered Crochet Hook here:
How has your latest ‘sock’ book been received, how many copies have you sold so far?
Since the book was released in February, it has been very well received. When I got my first royalty statement in April, it didn’t have a total number of copies, but the amount of my Royalty was staggering!
What future plans do you have in the pipeline?
I just released 4 new patterns in my Indie Crochet Line! (Actually one Knit Design and 3 Crochet) My first written article on Crochet Lace was published in Crochet Today! Magazine. (July/August 2011 issue) I will also be teaching at Both Knit and Crochet Shows (Minneapolis in July,Greensborough NC in September, as well as at the Crochet @ Cama Retreat in October I have several more things coming up the pike, Most of which I cannot discuss at this time as they are under contract. But keep an eye on my website or sign up for my newsletter to keep up with what is new!
How successful are your craft enterprises, is it your full time work?
I have been a Pattern Designer since 1998. And since then it has been my full time job! I started teaching classes Nationally in 2004, and have been teaching almost non-stop on the circuit since then! I am hoping to go international soon!
What has been your most rewarding craft achievement so far?
Honestly, I don’t think I could really name just one. I think my career has been a culmination of many achievements. All of which have been rewarding. What I can say though is that I have 2 teenagers. It really is a satisfied feeling when they tell their friends what I do for living and their friends say, “That is really cool!” When I learned to crochet, My Nonna was the only other crocheter I knew. Now I have friends world-wide!
What advice do you have for fellow crafters who would like to turn their craft into a business?
First, if you are a crocheter, get the book by Darla Sims, 
“Crocheting for Fun and Profit”. I swear that book is still my bible at times.
Don’t expect success overnight. Even in this age of the internet, it takes a lot of leg-work and marketing!
MARKET yourself as well as your work! Let everyone know who you are!! Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms are the way to go.
Become a member of an international trade organization. For Crocheters, it is the Despite the title, it is an international organization. If you can join The National Needlework Association and The Craft and Hobby Association as well do that too!
Where do you see yourself in Five years time?
In five years? I hope to be still doing what I love and traveling around the globe sharing it! Be sure I will have more books and patterns out there!

Thank you very much Karen for taking time out to answer these questions, you have provided some inspiration and 'food for thought'.  It was very interesting to read your responses and you have provided some very useful links.  I wish you luck in all of your future pursuits and I will certainly be following your work. 


  1. Well done you! That was so interesting. I love my job but I'd give it all up to knit or crochet for a living. Food for thought indeed!
    Love Tickety-boo x

  2. Lovely interview! Your blog is just adorable! LOVE!

  3. That was such an interesting post. Thank You Lucy.

  4. Lucy, you are amazing! What a neat idea to interview her.. and it makes you think about being able to do something like that. Of course I am retired now and think I will just crochet for the heck of it. :-)
    ((hugs)), Teresa :-)

  5. Great interview. Really interesting questions.

  6. That was interesting. Thank you.
    Carol xx

  7. It's refreshing to hear about people doing what they love for a living. Having such a passion and going for it is really inspiring. Thank you for sharing.

  8. Your blog must have come of age when you get blog posts of interviews with authors!! Congratulations!!


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