ByrdCall Studio
Baby, it's cold outside.  Come into the studio for a few minutes, sit by the fire, and I'll show you a piece of my world.  It's been a fun month with a busy one coming up where I will really be focused on completing my book.  So, I've decided to make this Newsletter a "two-monther."  See you again in April...I'm sure you understand.

In this issue:
  • Erma completes her 8th rug
  • The Yarn Guys Visit Byrdcall Studio!
  • Spotlight on a Brilliant Rya Designer
  • Art Shows lining up for the year


Erma Completes her 8th Rya 
and starts on her 9th
Erma Gebb has been making ryas for about 10 years now. If you are a lucky family member, you may have received one as a gift. Her young grand-sons are passionate about their favorite sports, so Erma is working to make them happy this winter.

She started the soccer ball in December and completed it the morning that I visited her at her Carlisle, PA home just the other day. I was bringing her the yarn for starting her second "ball" rya: a beautiful mix of blues.

Over the years, Erma has knotted using graphs of her favorite designs, but in recent years she has become more of an ad-libber.  In this design, I drew the soccer ball and shadow lines and she blended the oranges and created the borders to her taste.
So it started looking like this:   And ended up looking like this:
I spoke with Erma yesterday.  She is well on her way on the Football design, though she hasn't yet reached the bottom of the ball yet.  I bet she'll let me share the finished photo with you in the next newsletter.

It is easy to draw on the backings if you aren't one for following a graph--as long as the design is simple.  It is a little trickier to figure out how much yarn to order. Knowing how many knots a backing can hold (which is easy to calculate) tells you how many skeins you need.  In this case I know a backing this size (2'x3') will need a minimum of 11 skeins, so we guessed on how much of each color.  We were pretty close.  It will look awesome in blues, brown and white...just wait and see.


Byrdcall Studio is Visited 
by The Yarn Guys!
I always enjoy a studio visit, so I was thrilled the other day when the distributors for my favorite Norwegian yarn and rya supply company emailed saying they wanted to visit me on their way to a show in NYC from Illinois.

We had a great morning sharing shop-talk and getting to know each other.  I will be expanding my line of their Rauma products in the coming months.  In fact, I have a big shipment of yarn and backing arriving in a few days. To learn more, click on this link or photo above.


Meet Artiste Extraordinaire!
Judy Nelson-Moore from Santa Fe
I must say, I have been meeting the most interesting and amazing people from all around the world since diving into this new rya adventure of mine. Sometimes I post photos they share with me.  Sometimes I tell a story about them.  But in the case of Judy Nelson-Moore, I have decided to write my very first "spotlight on the artist feature."  I have learned a lot from Judy over the past few months. 
I suspect you will be amazed at what Judy, a ceramics-artist-of-note, did for her very first rya rug project.  It just goes to show what a diverse artist can do in any media if they apply their artistic talents.  It is all about the "process!"

Then, if you can't get enough of this stuff, click here to read a more detail perspective written by Judy.  

Remember that comments and sharing of information is always welcome on the Byrdcall Blog, so don't be shy.


Art Shows are starting to be scheduled
Note in the right-hand margin of your newsletter my Save the Dates listing. I have just been confirmed to return to the Mistletoe Mart this year, November 12-14.  And while it is too early to apply, I fully expect to see you at Art in the Park on June 6 in Westminster. You might as well mark those dates on your calendar if you are in the area.


Thanks for Reading to the End.
I am always happy to know that some of you actually scroll all the way down on my newsletter.  I am so fascinated by what I post in here, I assume that most of you will be, too. 

In any case, get back to doing what you were doing before I popped up on your screen. I hope you enjoyed the time with me and my friends here.  See you in April!  (Watch the Byrdcall Blog between now and then for occasional updates.
Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio
Woodbine, MD


Save the Dates!

Art in the Park
Westminster City Park
Saturday, June 6

The Mistletoe Mart
Church of Ascension
Westminster, MD
November  12, 13, & 14 
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