Monthly Newsletter ~March 2021
NEW! Needle Blocks in Three Wood Choices
If you already have a needle block of some sort, you know how easy it is to stay organized on your needlework projects. Many of you have made your own and will attest to that fact. Some of you have shared photos of how you label the holes in your blocks to correspond with the symbols on your graph--brilliant!

Now I am offering Black Walnut, Cherry and Tulip Poplar needle organizing blocks. I am fortunate that my husband makes time to prepare the blocks that I send to those who buy them on my website or in my Etsy shop.

The new blocks look great and I have plenty of each type of wood.
"New" Kits Added to Shop
Moll #61 Rauma

This complete Norwegian rya rug kit titled "Moll" was designed by Else Poulsson. It is 60 x 110 cm or 23.5" x 43.3".
You have three choices for color combinations. I don't have a photo of a completed Choice C, so if you make that one, please send me a photo I can share with others.

The yarn is virgin wool from the Spaelsau sheep in Norway--coarse and resilient. The backing is woven of heavy wool and linen in the traditional manner. I make it easy for you by starting the first row for you and adding detailed instructions which I translated from Norwegian to English. I also am available to give advice through the process if you need it.
Soldans #365 Rauma
If this doesn't make you want to do a sundance, I don't know what will.

YOU can make this amazing rya designed by T. Kosonen-Buvik. The colors in this kit are spectacular! This kit has everything you need to make this very high quality product from Norway. I make it easy for you by starting the first row for you and adding detailed instructions which I translated from Norwegian to English. I also am available to give advice through the process if you need it.

This kit uses two strands of the heavier rya yarn and an additional thinner strand of prydvevgarn (yarn made from the same heritage sheep) but thinner for variety in texture. To learn more, Click here.
Kilde #77 Rauma
Be the first of my customer/friends to make this beautiful rya rug. It comes in four color choices, but I only have a photo in these oranges. It is also available in blue-greens, golden browns, and natural grays.

This complete Norwegian rya rug kit titled "Kilde" was designed by Åse Øyen. It is 60 x 110 cm or 23.5" x 43.3". It is also available BIGGER so ask if you want a big one 140 x 200 cm (55" x 79")

Aks #95 Rauma
This complete rya rug kit titled "AKS" was designed by Bi Magnus in Norway. It is 80 x 150 cm or approx. 32" x 59". You make the knots with a needle threaded with two strands of rya yarn (ryegarn).

It has another color combination choice which looks pretty cool--pinks, rusts and browns.

There are more kits each month, so keep checking in when you are in the mood.
Some New Tools for New Designers
New Graph Paper Hot Off the Press
I've been wanting to print this paper for you for a long time--and now--at last. This is a card stock paper 11" wide by 17" long. Designed for the Rauma backings of Norway or the vintage backings of Sweden, the spacing is not square like regular graph paper, but elongated rectangles 7 rows squared with 10 knots across the row. Depending on your backing's dimensions, you can crop the size of the paper or add more paper to customize the graph.

Starting now, I will be adding a free sheet to my yarn samples package which is the first thing a designer should buy (after the book).

If you ask me to, I will enclose a sheet with your book order, or kit order, or backing order. In other words, if I can slip a sheet of graph paper into any package I am packing for you, I will give you a free sheet. But you should ask so I know you are interested. Bought separately the sheets are $2.00 each and they will be folded in half. I have not yet listed them on Etsy or website.
New Designer's Kit Available
In response to a few spouses who wanted to give their rya-making sweethearts the perfect gift, I came up with a package of everything needed to start a rya rug design--including the backing. It also includes special items to make it extra sweet like a Needle block!

I can customize to add the backing in the size you want. If you already have the book, there is a No-Book option. And if you don't have the book yet, there is the option for hardbound or soft bound. Those are on Etsy, but don't hesitate to ask me to customize a starter kit for you.
A Little-Known Offering You Might Want to Know About:
Snips of Yarn. This is so helpful for you if you are designing. Yes, you have your sample cards at hand but they don't allow you to twist colors together to see how they blend. And you probably want to make a threading card before you place your final order. Sound familiar?

At a very low price, I will gather snips from my snips bins in what ever colors you ask me too--as many as you want of each of the colors. You can request Lundgren yarn, Rauma Ryegarn, or Rauma Prydvevgarn. Free postage. Click on this link--> This is invaluable.
NOTE: Some emailed Newsletters will be shortened at about this point. Just click "View Entire Message" to not miss out on the second half.
The Ponytail--One strand of every Ryegarn color!
One strand each of 88 colors for your color mixing pleasure. This comes in very handy when you are experimenting with color possibilities. Leave it tied together at one end to keep it neat. Or if you are ever in a pinch and just need a bit more to finish a row, you can rob from the ponytail.

I must say, it is extremely time-consuming for me to make, and I've only made about 10, but they are all sold out now, and its time for me to make more, so go ahead and order.

And Last, but not least: The Rya Rugs Book
Yes, it is very possible to design and make a rya rug without the book, but why go through such wondering about supplies, tools, techniques, history, and stories when it is all between two covers that you can pass on to the next generation along with your rya rug. They do become heirlooms, you know. The book will tell the story to those who come next.

Sharing Your Work With Others
Not much action in the studio these days, except for an occasional visit from Maryland friends who need a little studio assistance. Beth from Brookville visited the other day for assistance in drawing her design on her backing and picking out the warm color combinations for the threading card.

Using Up Leftover Yarn Stash
Mary Jane Lloyd from East Lansing, MI is no stranger to making rya rugs. In this one, her goal was to design her own rya using her left over yarn from previous projects.

Her cat found it irresistible.

Note: With apologies, the sharing section will be a little skimpy this month because the editing program is down and not allowing me to post vertical photos, just horizontal ones. It's frustrating for me to layout a page with that limitation and I want to do justice to the nice photos I have to share. Wait until next newsletter, OK? And in the meantime, send me a photo of your latest project to share with others.
How Can You Be Sure You'll Like a Kit's Colors?
Many of the catalog pictures of vintage ryas were taken back in the early days of color photography. How can you tell if the true colors will match your decor and personal tastes?

A month ago local man wondered that and asked if I could send him a threading card so he and his wife could decide if the colors rang true. No one had ever asked me that before. What a good idea. I include a threading card in each kit I send out, so I offered him (and I offer you) this:
I'll send you an online invoice for $10 and I'll send you the color card. If the colors don't suit you, you can return the card and I'll refund your payment minus the postage ($4). If you go ahead and buy the kit, I will deduct the $10 paid from your kit invoice. You can't lose.

This is what a threading card looks like:
The Answer to the Little Quiz. . .
(See top of page)

What might have seemed mind boggling, is actually a very simple design that a beginner could master in a few minutes. The row pattern is repeated for four rows, then shifted for the next four rows.

My grandparents, Bill and Angie Lundgren, made this rug back in the 1960s. They used it on the bathroom floor as I recall. Because they always made a long pile (about 2" or more) the design takes more of a swirl-effect. If you made a 1" loop, you would see the thin stripes as distinctive black and white stripes.

I can't find any records of this design in my extensive design files, but I suspect it was one from the Svensk Hemslöjd collection from the 1950s.

Congratulations if you had a feeling it was really a simple design with a long pile!
Stay Safe and Warm and Happy!
A couple of links here that I know are enjoyed by many of you. Special "Shout out" to the Rya Rugs Friends on Facebook. The Group always welcomes new members.

A Few Parting Comments
Life has been going well for my family and me. We have been fortunate with surviving pandemic life and finding joy in life at home and nearby. I have an appointment to receive my first vaccine in two weeks. We will take our time in getting back to normal activity--slowly and safely.

I have been working in Byrdcall Studio every day and many for 10-hour days trying to keep up with calls, emails, and orders. I have found there isn't a lot of time for starting new programs like the Zoom Classes as I had hoped to start. I do have other ideas that will be fun that I'm working on in my head now, but won't tell you YET!
Happy Spring!
Direct Link for Book Purchase
Whether you have been waiting for this book for years or if you are just discovering at this moment that it exists, no reason to hold off on treating yourself! The reviews have been excellent. It is now available in either hardbound or soft bound cover. Click on the cover image to learn more.
Price: $ 49 Hardbound
Price: $ 39 Softbound
S & H: $ 5.00
6% MD State tax for instate purchases only

Do you know anyone who would enjoy this book? I would so appreciate your support of sharing my book with anyone who might enjoy it. If you know a shop that might like to carry a few books, I sell wholesale. If you know someone who is bored due to not going out during the pandemic, they could design their own rya or get a kit. Share with anyone who might appreciate the boost. Thank you.
c/o Melinda Purcell Byrd, Owner
P.O. Box 162
Woodbine, MD 21797