ByrdCall Studio

Now hear this! It is January 2020 and a new leaf is turning at Byrdcall Studio, LLC. Life will be very interesting for me and hopefully you will enjoy the changes you see here. There is a lot of good news which I will be sharing throughout this newsletter. So let's get started . . .

In this Issue:
  • THE BOOK Status Report
  • Developing NEW Byrdcall Studio Website
  • Rya Kit from 1945 needs to be completed
  • 185 Rya Rug Friends Group ~ why not join?
  • Secret Yarn Stash Revealed
  • Mark Your Calendars
  • Mentors Available and Needed
  • Frequently Asked Questions and ... 


The Book Report:
Good news still shines! The editing is DONE. The final manuscript is in the hands of the indexer. When she is done, (maybe next week!)  we will add the index and send the book on to the printer. Within three days of that we will have a copy in our hands to scrutinize and make sure everything looks great in the print. 

Then we give the printers the go-ahead and 15 days later we will be picking up 500 hardback books ready to send out. I'm not giving out a release date yet, but subscribers to my newsletter will be the first to know. My new website will probably be up-and-running by that time. If so, you can order through the website, if not, I'll put it in my Etsy shop and direct you to that.  I get giggly when I think of this really happening!


New Website is Just about Ready to Launch!

Maybe by the time you read this newsletter, the new website will be up. It may still be a "work in progress," but I think you will like what you see.

Because I have been totally focused on the book for the past eight years, I didn't find the time or master the skills to update my website as often as I would have liked. Hopefully you didn't notice that too much. A new leaf is turning. I look forward to updating the new site at least once a month (with the help of 

Not only will the new and improved website have a fresh new look, but it will offer services like a buy-it-now shop and an Events Calendar so you'll know what classes are coming up and when the studio will be open for visitors or Rya Sewing Circles. The Byrdcall Blog will be featured--and it goes back to 2010.

And for those of you who discovered me through my other art forms, like painting, block-printing, floorcloths, and murals; yes, I will keep a link to those images from years past just because I like to share them. I still have hundreds of T-shirts available to you and fine art block-prints, so feel free to ask about them anytime. I will continue selling through my Etsy shop since that is where so many people find my work.  

And lastly, you can expect to see a new newsletter format which will jive nicely with my website. So watch for it--and don't delete it because it is unfamiliar.


1945 Rya Kit Needs 
Someone to Complete It.

This is quite an interesting on-going story, and you might be the final chapter. I am looking for just the right person to complete this rya and give it a good home.

Before raising your hand and shouting, "Me! Pick me!" learn more about this very unique piece. To save on space, go to this blog post to read the background
(4th article)

Then go to this blog to read the continuation of the story.

My good friend, Marge Simmons, volunteered to continue on with this old and challenging rya kit. She knotted up about 10" more and now we are looking for a new home--perhaps its forever home.

Challenges: Being such an old woven backing, it doesn't have the refinement of the "gap in the weave" which makes hand knotting so easy on the ryas you may have made in the past. So, hand strength is a requirement for the next knotter. The backing had a few linen warp breaks which Marge and I spent time mending. There could be a few more of these that need mending. The graph paper is well-worn and you may need to adlib a bit, but that is all part of the story of this early Swedish rya.  

In 2014 Mormor brought this rya to me when she needed more yarn for it. I replenished all that we thought it would need from my vintage stashes of yarn.

If you would be interested in taking this 80% made rya--the oldest kit I have ever come across--and finishing it so it achieves its rya potential, I would be interested in talking with you and meeting with you in my studio. I am looking for someone who is good at figuring things out, and is willing to hang it when completed since its floor-worthiness has past. I'm looking for someone who will love it and give it a good home.

There would be no charge unless additional yarn is required, and then I'll give you a break on cost since I know it is a challenge. In the end you may have what is one of the very first ryas made on a pre-woven backing--of course loom-woven ryas go back to the days of the Vikings!  Send me an email if, after reading all this, you fit the bill!   [email protected]


Secret Yarn Stash Revealed

No, I swear I'm not trying to hide my stash from my favorite people, so I am revealing all.  When I find a good deal in a vintage rya yarn or when The Yarn Guys let me know of a limited edition color of ryegarn from Norway, I always buy it . . . for YOU.  I just forget to tell you that I have it.  (It isn't on the yarn sample cards and I may only have 5-10 skeins of it.) For example, I just bought 10 skeins of ryegarn from Norway in NAVY BLUE which is a color that is very difficult to find for some reason.

People who stop by the studio are the only ones who know I have it. It has been too time consuming to stay on top of promoting this secret inventory in addition to all of my "regular" inventory.  So know that if you are desperately looking for a particular color, I might be able to help.  You can send me a snip of yarn to match for you or make an appointment to visit me in the studio. 

These ryegarn colors are not on any sample card. I have roughly 5-10 skeins of each of these colors. I will try to order more if I sell out.  $16.00 each

Frostagarn was made by Borgs in Sweden back in the day. The colors you see are the only ones I have. They are $8 per skein, but if you buy in quantity, the price could drop to $5 per skein. If you have my samples packet, you have a card with these sample on it. I sell the Pumpkin orange and Mossy green in discount pack on Etsy $25 for 5 skeins. Click on photo to see main Etsy listing.

This big bin contains all the Åsborya I have left. I have recently reduced the price to $10. 
It is also made--even today--by Borgs in Sweden. You can easily order in my Etsy Shop. You can see I have small quantities of the colors on the card. Click on photo to see more images in the Etsy listing.

This big bin contains many random individual colors mostly from Bergå and Nordiskas. Most don't have tags. If you send me a snip of a color you are trying to match that would be better than telling me a color number. When you visit me at the studio, ask to see this seldom seen bin of opulent vintage yarns. Most are $10 per skein.


Mark Your Calendars
for My First Public Engagements as an Author!

books-apple-icon.jpg I'm so excited to announce two presentations I will be making in my community to welcome the arrival of my book, Design and Make Your Own Rya Rug.

Tuesday, March 10. 7:00 PM at the Eldersburg Branch of the Carroll County Public Library.  This will be a one-hour presentation including history, technique, and design with hands-on demonstrations for teens through adults.
6400 Hemlock Drive
Eldersburg, MD 21784


Tuesday, April 7. 7:00 PM Author Interview by Ted Zaleski sponsored by the Carroll County Public Library at Carroll Lutheran Village in the Krug Chapel.  
300 St Luke Cir, Westminster, MD

Books will be available for purchase and signing.


You are Invited to Join our 
"Rya Rug
Friends Group"

Stay in-the-know all month long! I am loving this addition to our Rya Rug Revival. There is a lot of brilliance in this group...keep sharing.  I'll throw in my 2-cents on occasion.   ;-)  We have 185 members now!

If you are intrigued by rya rugs, the only good reason NOT to join is if you are not a Facebook person.  If you are a member of Facebook (even if you never use Facebook) you can request to join this Group.  If you subscribe to my newsletter, you definitely should check this out. 

Recently Jenny Vanhanen from Finland shared with us that she was just awarded Finlands Artisan of the Year Award, a very prestigious recognition for her work in using her new techniques in rya ("ryijy" in Finnish) design. 

Follow the excitement as it grows in Finland as well as here in the USA.  Jenny's Award Presentation. If you don't read Finnish, you can look at the pictures. ;-) 

To join, go to my Byrdcall Studio Facebook page and go to GROUPS.

Click JOIN GROUP and you will be asked about your rya interest (to filter out spammers or those without any interest). You can answer in any way you want.  Then you can comment and share with each other.  Even if you just click on "like" when you see rya rugs that you like...that will make someone smile. To join, just  Click .  Consider this a  personal invitation! No product promotions, please.


Frequently Asked Questions...

Q:  What is the best way to reach me? vector_mobile_phone.jpg

A:  Email me at [email protected]. If you have a question too complicated to type as an email, then call me at 
410-549-4889 and leave a message. If I don't answer, I will call you back as soon as possible.  Please do not google-message me or facebook-message me because it's hard for me to keep track of all those messages systems.  (I have completed disconnected from the AOL email address I had so make sure you don't have that one recorded anywhere.)

Q:  Where am I located and what are my hours?

A:  I work out of my studio located in my backyard in Woodbine, MD.  I do not have regular business hours, but I am more than happy to make appointments at the studio with anyone interested in what I have to offer. Give me a call at 410-549-4889 and please leave me a message. 

Q:  So how did I get into this whole rya rug thing? 
This is such a frequently asked question, I'm leaving this link here because it is nicely put into a nutshell. Credit to Lyndi McNulty and  The Carroll County Times.

Finding My Work

My Etsy Shop has just about everything for online buying. When you buy through etsy, you allow me more free time to work on the book since written and verbal correspondence is minimal...Not that I don't love communicating with you, but that is my #1 time-consumer in the day.

Other Ways to Keep Up-to-Date:

Like my Facebook page:   Byrdcall Studio

Join the Facebook Group Rya Rug Friends  for all the latest in rya!

On Instagram, follow me at:   byrdcallstudio

And as always, feel free to share this newsletter with anyone you think might enjoy it.


Find a Mentor, or Be One!
22 Mentors in USA, Canada, Mexico, and Europe

This is to assist someone who feels stuck in their rya work. Maybe they forgot how to make the knot. It happens. Rya help could be in the next town...or maybe the next state.  I'm keeping track of everyone who is willing to assist a beginner get started with a kit or a design.  I gladly share the mentor's contact info with the person who needs help (but I do not post their phone numbers or addresses to ensure their internet privacy).  

Thanks to those of you who have offered to be of assistance if there is a neighbor in need:
  • Larry in Hyde Park, UT
  • Gail in Black Mountain, North Carolina
  • Holly in Indianapolis, Indiana
  • Jackie in Williamsport, Pennsylvania
  • Kristin in Deland, Florida
  • Tina in San José, California
  • Kris in Paynesville, Minnesota 
  • John in Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey
  • Janet in Monmouth County, New Jersey
  • Inger in Santa Fe, New Mexico
  • Marsha in Sun City, Arizona
  • Madeline, south of Tucson
  • Paul in Tucson, Arizona
  • Denise in Snohomish, Washington
  • Robbin--Vancouver/Savory Is., British Columbia 
  • David in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Eleanor in Fleischmanns, New York
  • Laurie in Chatham and Boston, Massachusetts
  • Angie is near Mexico City
  • Polly in Oakville, Ontario, Canada
  • Mia in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Marie in Scunthorpe/North England
  • and Marian in The Netherlands
You need NOT be an expert. All you have to do to change from a little white tag to a bright pink tag is be willing to help someone in your area get started.  I will contact you to make the connection...and no mentor to date has had more than one contact, so you are not going to be swamped!  Email me today.

I am only one person in Maryland.  But you all are all over the country and the world.  I'd love to share my joy of getting people started on their first ryas with YOU if you are interested. Just let me know. If you want to be connected to a mentor, just ask me. [email protected]


And You Made it to the END!
Thank you so much for following the path.

The next newsletter you receive will be full of the news you have been waiting to hear.  It is the news I have been so looking forward to writing for you.

And we'll see what happens then.

I am a little nervous that there could be an onslaught of orders and communications which I might not be able to keep up with at the same speed that you are used to seeing me respond. So if that is the case, just know I am doing the best I can. Byrdcall Studio is "just me." 

You have been awesome with your kind communications and patience. I'm looking forward to the next phase.

Cheers, my friends,


Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio, LLC
Woodbine, MD


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