ByrdCall Studio
Yes, it is August!  

I invite you to take a few minutes to glimpse into the Byrdcall Studio world?

Plenty is happening, and I'd love to share it with you.

I n this issue: 
  • Six new rya rug makers emerge from Common Ground on the Hill
  • Open Studio Day:  Monday, August 14th
  • A Change in Etsy listings for my T-shirts
  • 12 Rya Helpers to assist beginners ... and you?
  • My Book Progress
  • Frequently asked Questions and...


New Rya Students at 
 Ground on the Hill...

I just completed my third year teaching rya designing during a 5-day class at Common Ground on the Hill.  I had a great time and my students were so self-starting and motivated.  Most came with design ideas in mind and all we had to do was go over the best techniques for implementing their ideas.  Two students were "returnees" getting a second or third session to learn new skills and to make process on their work.

Over the coming weeks I hope to receive photos from the new students of their completed work.  Here are some photos from class.
Eric is sharing his new skills with Heather and Ellen.

Victoria is laying out her palette of yarn for her design.

Ellen did a watercolor sketch of her vision of the moon over Common Ground. It will be a gradation of light to dark night sky with a beaming moon.  I can't wait to see it complete.

Heather used 5 different types of rya yarn which made quantity calculations a challenge,
but she did it, and even came in under budget!

Here is Heather's rya half completed.  A heart and open book design.  I bet it is done now, right, H?

And finally, Eric's completed rya which he is making into a pillow.  He has already started on his second rya.

Great job, All.  Keep sharing your skills with others.  I welcome interested people to set aside a week next year to join in on the Scandinavian Rya Rug making class.


Open Studio Day 
Monday, Aug. 14 10 AM - 6 PM
Rya Sewing Circle
& Volunteer Work Day

To all of you with a partially made rya, or ideas you are ready to implement into your new rya project, or if you are ready to start on a kit, I invite you to register for one of four seats in the rya circle.  If we have lots of registrants, we will do a 10-noon session and a 1-3:00 session.  Free motivation and over-the-shoulder assistance provided by me and your new friends.  Any new students from CGOTH are invited to join us to help maintain your progress.  This is a free (social) coaching session, not a class.  

Getting Started!

The Drop-In aspect for the day is for anyone who is curious to see the studio, maybe watch people working on ryas, or if you just need to pick up some notecards or t-shirts, drop in!  1103 Hoods Mill Road, Woodbine, MD.

And to those who have expressed interest in helping out where I need help getting tasks done in the studio, I welcome you to join us.  Please let me know you are coming so I can have jobs lined up ready to go.  Most of the helper jobs will be focused in the later afternoon.

What a full day in store.

Willing To Travel for a Class?
Only One Day to Learn Rya Skills?

airplane-takeoff-sun-sm.jpgI'm looking for feedback from those who want a one-day rya class.  I've been communicating with a few folks who want to drive very far or fly from distant states to come for a class.  I'd love to get 3-4 of you to come on the same day for a semi-private all-day class where you can design your own, calculate yarn requirements, and get started in the same day.  It would be a condensed class where normally I teach in several 2-hr. classes.

If you stayed in a local hotel or B&B, we could have a short follow up class the next morning after you've had time to practice, then off you fly back home.  
Please contact me directly if you'd like to be included in this communication loop.

Note:  To receive first priority for signing up for regular in-studio classes, please send me you name and interest (starting on a kit? designing your own? ) 
Improving its Listings Features

enter-key-keyboard.jpg My etsy shop has about 130 listings of what I am offering for sale.  As you may know, I am trying to reduce my shirt inventory since I am doing so few shows these days.

Etsy has just extended the listings to include 10 photos (up from 5) which is going to be very helpful for me in letting you know exactly what hand-printed shirts I have available.  As time allows, I will starting listing all my hand-printed shirts by the individual photo grouped by size.  For example, I just took pictures and updated my photos of SMALL shirts for WOMEN. Take a Look Here. and if you like what you see, also take a look here, too for more!

To buy a particular shirt, click on the DESIGN and COLOR drop-down menu, then scroll down to the actual shirt you want and go ahead and buy it.  I'll send it to you, then remove it from the dropdown menu and take its photo off.  Share this will all the size SMALL women you know.  Next comes the Medium, Larges, X-Ls, XXLs and the same with the MEN's shirts.


 Rya Mentor Program Update
12 Helpers in USA and Europe

Happy to report that we have two new mentors in New Jersey and one in North England. I would love to add a few people to this list every month... People who wouldn't mind on rare occasion to be contacted by me regarding connecting with someone who needs a "buddy" or mentor for getting started on their rya.  Check out these pink flags on my calendar. We can fill in the country a little more I think.  We need some pink sticky notes in the mountain states, California, MN, WI, MO, TX, MI, Carolinas ... 

Thanks to those of you who have offered to be of assistance if there is a neighbor in need:
  • Kristin in Deland, Florida
  • Janet in Monmouth County, New Jersey
  • Marsha in Sun City, Arizona
  • Paul in Idaho Falls, Idaho
  • Denise in Snohomish, Washington
  • Robbin--Vancouver/Savory Island, British Columbia area
  • David in Cincinnati, Ohio
  • Eleanor in Fleischmanns, New York
  • Laurie in Chatham and Boston, Massachusetts
  • Mia in Stockholm, Sweden
  • Marie in Scunthorpe/North England
  • and Marian in The Netherlands
To qualify as a Rya Helper, you just have to be enthusiastic about making ryas, feel confident in your knot making, be a good problem solver, and enjoy people as they learn something new.  You need not be an "expert."

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.


Book Progress?

I guarantee to you that I am not frittering away the day! Right now I am happy to say that the Designing chapter is pretty much wrapped up and the Calculations chapter is getting the final edit by me before going to Jenna for her edit magic.

I want to tell you that I bought and received the rya book from Finland that I told you about in last month's newsletter.  My curiosity got the best of me.  I'm happy to know that the rya/ryijy surge of interest is growing in Finland as well as here.  I've been aware of differences in the Finnish techniques of ryijy, but I did not know them well enough to make it a significant part of my book (focusing mostly on Swedish and Norwegian style).  The book, Ryijyn Taikaa by Ulla Karsikas, is great for much of the same information I am including in my book, but more focused on how the Finns do it. 

Sadly my ability to speak or read Finnish is pretty weak (nonexistent) even though my family had a Finnish girl, Tiina, living with us for one year in high school.  I learned how to count to 10 in Finnish.  At this point, I can just enjoy the pictures and guess what the words are saying. I have a feeling we are sharing the same message!  I appreciate your patience.


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 my AOL email address, please switch to this gmail address because I will soon be shutting down the AOL account.  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 don't google-message me or facebook-message me because it's hard for me to keep track of all those messages systems.  

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 leave me a message.  I'll get back to you quickly .

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  The Carroll County Times.

Finding my Work
at 15 E. Main St., Westminster, MD now carries my Unity shirts.  This month, they are also offering a random color and size selection in:  Listening, 3 Crows, Waste Not, and Thoreau/Simplify.  These shirts are not listed on etsy, and the only way to buy one is to go to Eclecticity.  Tell Shawn "Melinda sent me."

Off Track Art in Westminster  I just d elivered some of my original block prints mounted on wood for a ready-to-hang piece of art--no framing required.  

The Market Tavern in Sykesville   Ask for my  Art Notecards in a Basket if you don't see them.  Have a beverage on me.  (Just kidding!)  Instead, write a note card to a loved friend while you sit by the window and sip a glass of something.
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

On Instagram, follow me at:   byrdcallstudio

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


That's all, Folks!

Sure, there is plenty more, but save it for another day.

Wishing you all a wonderful summer (or winter for you folks down under!)  Keep in touch and I'll do the same.

Now, back to the book!




Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio
Woodbine, MD


Save the Dates!
Monday, August 14
Rya Sewing Circle
Open Studio Day
Volunteer Work Day
at Byrdcall Studio
Archives  of Recent Newsletters

Click on Past Issues