COLUMBIA — Ruth Walker, a local artist and part owner of Bluestem Missouri Crafts, did not always have a passion for hats.
On a hot summer day, while participating in a hand-spinning group, Walker’s friend decided to teach her how to make a felt hat with the wool.
After her first experience Walker said she thought, "I would never, ever do this again, cause it was so exhausting."
However, the following fall Walker brought her first hat to a wool festival in Bethel, where she won the overall grand prize.
Walker then realized this was what she wanted to do. Since then, Walker has traveled across the country selling her hats at wool fairs, festivals and craft shops. Walker also runs several workshops a year. Her most recent workshops were in England.