Almost 40 years ago, I walked into a primitive rug hooking class that Emma Lou Lais was teaching. As soon as I saw her hand dyed wool and rugs, I was hooked!
Emma Lou became a best friend, cheerleader and mentor to me. She was one of the most influential women of my adult life.
Black Sheep Wool Designs started with me designing, hooking and selling hooked pins at local shows and shops all over the United States. I designed and hooked a logo rug, Baa Baa Black Sheep, to hang in my booth at local shows and women started asking for the pattern so I added patterns to what I was selling. As the business grew, my family moved to a new house with the perfect building for a studio. During this time Emma Lou needed a place to hold her classes, so my studio became a classroom and shop. We held her bi-weekly classes and then monthly and bi-monthly workshops there for ten years with women coming from as far away as Canada.
With Emma Lou’s encouragement, I started dying wool and holding my own workshops and classes. As Emma Lou’s eyesight started to fail, I dyed her wool and color planned rugs for her workshops. All the while I was also designing new rugs and drawing patterns for my own business. As much joy as this gave me, it was beginning to be too much for one person to handle. In 2012 Emma Lou died and after ten wonderful years I decided to close the studio and sell the property. After a long deserved break, I began to feel the itch to create new designs and grow and improve my pattern business. It has taken me two years to work on a new business plan, obtain a copyright attorney, redraw all of my existing patterns, create new designs and work on a new website.
Today I no longer have a studio, sell wool or hold classes instead I am focusing on my online business and love creating new pattern designs. I still miss having a studio, dying wool and all of the wonderful ladies I was able to share the art of rug hooking with. I especially miss Emma Lou.
If you have questions, I am aways available, by phone, email or text to answer any questions about cut size, color planning or technique while hooking your pattern. I am always working on new designs so please let me know if there is a particular early rug, in the public domain, that you would like a pattern for.
As always, I would love photos of your rugs, to admire and add to my website!