Our Story


Black Sheep Wool Designs (BSWD) is a second generation Missouri business entering it's 22nd year of primitive rug hooking pattern design and production. Rhonda Manley established her studio and business in Liberty, MO in 1996. With Emma Lou Lais as her teacher, Rhonda began hooking rugs and was soon designing patterns and dyeing wool and offering regular studio classes led by Emma Lou.  Those of us who had the good fortune to hook with Rhonda and Emma Lou at the studio treasure the experience and have many happy memories of the wonderful setting, beautiful patterns and wools, and delicious meals. Rhonda and her studio were a "must visit" stop on the rug hooking trail. 



 Rhonda retired in 2012 and Elinor Barrett became the new owner, moving the drawing table and more than 300 patterns to Columbia, MO.  Elinor is the Associate Director of the Daniel Boone Regional Library where she oversees library building projects, strategic planning and library services at the three facilities and bookmobiles.  In her 'spare' time, Elinor has continued to add to the pattern inventory and teaches classes that focus on the use of color and value in primitive rug hooking.  Elinor and her sister Susan Meadows also vend at rug hooking events in the surrounding states and lead the planning for hosting the raucous October hook-in: "Baa...Baa...BOO~ville 'Blood on the Rug' Halloween Hook-in held annually on the last Saturday of October.  EEK!


2018 has been a productive year for BSWD.  Elinor has edited photos and migrated the web site to a software platform with new features and content.  Rhonda has started drawing pattern designs again and together they are excited with the new pattern offerings now available.  Be sure to check them out!

While Elinor is working full time, she does not have an open studio.  However, if you need something, we encourage you to contact her and she is happy to visit and meet with you as possible.


                                      Black Sheep Wool Designs Booth

                  Woolkeepers Hook-In, Danville, Indiana; September, 2017