ByrdCall Studio

Hi, Friends, 
Yes, it's June. I'm still alive. Page by page I have been tweaking every nook and cranny in the book to make sure it is the best it can be before it goes to the next two editors, then the indexer, then to press! By the time they get it, hopefully all "unclarities" will be clear and beautiful.

As of today, I am final-tweaking starting at p. 252 of 285 the end is near. And yet life continues with family events that will be worth taking a little break from my work... My sister is getting married, my niece is having a baby--the first of the new generation in my family, my husband is retiring!  

I am teaching Rya Rug Designing again at Common Ground on the Hill. June 24 - June 28. (from 1:00 - 3:45) Just think ... In 5 days you can design your own rya and be well on your way. I still have room for 1 or 2 more students. Sign up today.

time_2_learn_vector.jpg And for those of you who have been patiently waiting for the book to move on to the next step in your rya rug learning, I highly recommend that you play with the Archives button in the right-hand margin of this (and all) newsletters. Many contain valuable lessons about designing or what others have done.  Click away, and it doesn't cost you anything but time.

In this Issue:
  • 144 Rya Rug Friends Group ~ why not join?
  • Mentors Available and Needed
  • Video Podcast you can watch or listen to
  • Eclecticity in Westminster has Closed
  • Sharing Time: Large Vintage Rya Kits Need Homes
  • Frequently asked Questions and ... Wishes for a great summer!


144 Members the 
"Rya Rug
Friends Group"
as of 6/7/19

Welcome to all the new members of this Facebook Group. Since I am putting all my energies into completing my book, I have fallen behind on these newsletters (my apologies), but this communications line is an exceptional way to be connected. Ask questions. Share your comments.

I am loving this addition to the Rya Rug Revival.  In fact, it allows me to focus on getting my book done while you pose questions to one another and get great responses from your peers. In fact, I don't even have the "alert sound" turned on when someone posts a comment or photo because it would draw my attention away from my book writing (and that is the last thing I need in the final homestretch). I am just delighted every time I check out the Group, people are talking rya, sharing tips, and asking questions. There is a lot of brilliance in this group...keep sharing!  I'll throw in my 2-cents on occasion.   ;-)

If you are intrigued by rya rugs, the only good reason NOT to join is if you are not a Facebook person. Check out some of the recent postings.  There are many more, so I invite you to join the discussion or just peek in when you feel like it.

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. 

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.


Find a Mentor, or Be One!
21 mentors in USA, Canada, Mexico, and Europe

We have a new mentor in Indianapolis:  Holly Janzen. (She is also my book's indexer and she has been so patiently waiting for me to gitterdun!) Thanks for stepping up!  Anybody else want a pink tag on the map?
If you are confused...or stuck in the process...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:
  • 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.


Video Podcast By Darn Good Yarn
Released the Day after my Last Newsletter Went Out.

Nicole Snow
Photo: Erica Stoeckeler
I like to keep my readers in the know, but this podcast was released just after my last newsletter went out. I posted it on Facebook and on the Friends of Rya Rugs Facebook group, but in case you are not a Facebook reader, this is your chance to hear  Nicole Snow and me talk about ryas AND life.

"The Made With Love Experiment series look into the lives of makers, women, entrepreneurs as we dissect what it is that helps us curate life on our own terms." It is about 30 minutes long, and if you can get past the funny faces I tend to make when skyping, it is a good interview.

Episode 11 of the Made With Love Experiment Ft. Melinda of @ByrdcallStudio
Episode 11 of the Made With Love Experiment Ft. Melinda of @ByrdcallStudio

Watch Video or Listen to Podcast Here


Shawn Lockhart's Shop
E clecticity-- Has Closed

In the most recent issue of this newsletter, I encouraged folks to visit Shawn at her gallery shop where she sold a wide variety of my hand-printed shirts as well as exceptional art from other local artists. Running an art business is tough road to walk, and sadly, Shawn had to close her shop doors on June 1st. 
I have brought all my shirts back to Byrdcall Studio. They are all available in my Etsy shop now .

Shawn will be teaching classes at Common Ground on the Hill in Westminster this summer. (I am, too!) Check out her classes here.  Week 1 : An Artist Book Project; and Week 2  (Un)Conscious Drawing.

PS And while you are at it--Sign up for my Rya designing class Week 1.


Learning and Sharing Time

Since the last newsletter I was contacted by two different people with rya kits in their families, but a major obstacle stopped them from completion.

In one case, a woman had purchased a 140 x 200 cm (55" x 79") kit from Rauma of Norway called "Uvær." For some reason it was being kept at a Friends of Norway meeting hall (or something like that) and mysteriously the backing disappeared from the kit.  So being a sucker for all things rya (of high quality) I accepted these supplies and I'm looking for a home for them. I just last week received from Norway the perfect backing for this kit--woven this month! I am looking for someone interested in purchasing (at a much-reduced price) the entire kit.  

If you ordered this "new" today, the retail price would be $1,142. (I know one of you mentioned this design to me once as one you hoped to make one day.) The cost of the new backing is $356.40. The yarn appears to be in perfect condition even though decades old. I would need to inventory the yarn and weigh it to give you a good idea of exactly what is there.  It could be 100% present or lacking in some amount. 

If someone is willing to bring this kit to its potential, I am willing to let you have it at a very reduced price.  But I'm not going to take the time to count and weigh yarn until I have someone interested in it. If that is YOU, let me know and I'll get to work inventorying.  Decades ago, the woman who bought the kit prepared dozens of zip-lock bags full of the threadings ready-to-be-knotted. She has done loads of work for you. She is no longer here, but her daughter wants Uvær to find a good home.  So do I.

(Next month, I'll tell you about the other vintage rya kit looking for a home.)

The design is not complicated and suitable for beginner or advanced rya rug maker.


Frequently Asked Questions...

The most commonly asked questions are:  

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

A:  Email me at 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 are you located and what are your 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 you 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.


Enjoy Your Summer!

I love this ocean view rya made by Nancy Ross who lives on Cape Cod.

Wishing you a great summer, and I intend to be better about keeping you up-to-date monthly on Byrdcall Studio adventures.  Very soon, you will see the announcement of the publication of the book.... and I will be one very happy camper to have that complete--as you can imagine.

And to ALL of you, you are the best for reading all the way to the end!



Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio
Woodbine, MD


Save the Dates!

Still time to Register for
Rya Class at Common Ground on the Hill

Week I
June 23 - June 28
from 1 - 3:45 PM

Get on their mailing list at this link for other class listings to round out your week at camp.

Archives  of Recent Newsletters

Click on Past Issues