In the months since her nest emptied as her youngest child left home for college this fall, Mary Roberts, president of the Wauwatosa-based public relations firm Buzz Monkeys Inc., has been searching for a new hobby to occupy her hours outside the office.
[caption id="attachment_161571" align="alignleft" width="255"] After a week of hooking wool through the rug base, Roberts’ rug design takes shape.[/caption]
After trying out a few things here and there – she started running and completed her first 10K in September, but gave it up when the weather got colder – she settled on an unusual hobby she had encountered once before: rug hooking.
“I have a good friend of my mother’s who, for my wedding 22 years ago, was into wool rug hooking and made my husband and I this beautiful wool rug for our house as our wedding gift,” Roberts said. “I thought, ‘Wow, is that a cool hobby.’”
Rug hooking is a method of making rugs by using a hook with a wooden handle to pull loops of wool or fabric through a firm, woven base material made of burlap or linen.
Now that she finally has some spare time on her hands after work, Roberts decided to join the Cream City Rug Hooking Guild and give it a shot.
“I love the idea of artistically being able to create my own patterns and concepts,” she said. “There really are a wide variety of things that you can do. I love the creativity and the artistry of it, and the color and the fabrics. I was never much of a painter, but this allows me to have some creative expression. It’s very soothing and very meditative.”
Roberts said she’s currently working on a two-foot by three-foot piece as a birthday gift for her sister.
“If I happen to screw up, I can always get her a gift card,” she said, and laughed. “But so far, I’m happy with how it has turned out.”