ByrdCall Studio
My carved and painted entry to the Carroll Arts Center's Members Art Show Come to the Opening Reception Sept. 7 to cast your vote for your favorite artwork.

Holy Moly!  Plenty happening in September, and I'd love to share it with you.  Classes coming up...  Adopt-a Rya... Please read on.

I n this issue: 
  • Check out my carving at Member Show at CAC
  • Open Studio Day:  Wednesday, September 20
  • Semi-Private Rya Class in One Day!
  • Price Breaks on the Frostagarn
  • Adopt-a-Rya 
  • Pictures of Works done by YOU
  • My Book Progress
  • 13 Rya Mentors to assist beginners ... and you?
  • Frequently asked Questions and...


"Open Studio Day"
Wednesday, Sept. 20th 
10 AM - 6 PM
Rya Sewing Circle
& Volunteer Work Day

Denis, Scot, and Maria were among the afternoon knotters in the August Circle.

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. Please select the 10-noon morning shift or the 1-3 afternoon shift. 

That way we can accommodate more people.
Free motivation and over-the-shoulder assistance provided by me and your new friends.  All past students are invited to join us to help maintain your progress. This is a free (social) coaching session, not a class.  

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.


Rya-in-a-Day Class 
Saturday, Nov. 4th

In the last hour of our one-day class Sarah begins knotting the unique rya she designed in class. She came with her cousin, mother, and aunt where the 4 women had a family reunion as they learned a new skill in one day!

In the last newsletter, I announced that we would soon be scheduling a one-day class especially for people who were traveling from afar and only had a day to learn before needing to return home or travel on.  (My classes usually span over several days or weeks for a slower paced class.)

I now have two signed up for a class in Byrdcall Studio scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 4th from 9 AM - 5 PM.  The tuition is $100 for a semi-private class of 2-4 students.  

You arrange your own transportation and lodging if needed.  In one day I'll teach you all that I can.  

  • You will design a rya in whatever size you choose from the many available backings
  • You will learn to calculate how much yarn you need, 
  • You will gather the yarn from my shelves, 
  • and start knotting! 
Please contact me directly if you'd like to be included in this communication loop. Local folks are welcome to sign up, too.


Reduced Price on the Frostagarn

Byrdcall Studio has more yarn coming in every month which means I need space for it.  Frostagarn (Frosta Yarn) a vintage rya type of yarn from Borgs of Sweden is no longer made. When I had a opportunity a year or so ago to by out another store's Frostagarn, I bought it all! 

I've been selling it at $8.00 a skein--my lowest priced yarn--but to clear storage space I want to encourage fiberartists to buy larger quantities for prices that will go as low as $5 per skein.  Click here for more photos and details.  Tell your fiber friends and pool your orders.


Adopt-a-Rya ... Buy-a-Rya

This rya is 1/3 complete, and a complicated one--I know because I have made one of this Swedish design 
inspired by a peacock.

I seem to be getting more frequent requests from people who are searching for the right person to give or sell their ryas.  Some of the ryas are discovered partially made in a closet, and the finder recognizes the value of the materials and potential rya, but it doesn't fit into their current life or situation. 

Since I have a book to complete and a business to run (and a dog and a husband and a garden...) I am not inclined to start a brokering service for finding the right home for the ryas... but in August I had about 4 requests for assistance in finding a good home for a rya.  I posted a blog for one of them... And now I have an idea.  I think I will use that blog page as an ever changing post location to help people connect with others regarding adopting a rya. 

Information on another partially made kit was send to me last week. I'll be sharing details soon in the blog posting.
You can contact each other directly, send photos, ask questions, and decide if the transaction is right for you.  I can not accept responsibility for the quality of the work or the completeness of the kits, or the integrity of the buyer or seller. (In general rya people are very honest and nice.)  I am just willing to help get the word out to sincere rya enthusiasts.  

I do not wish to assist people who want to sell at top dollar, (go hire a broker for that) but for those who are determined to find a good home for their rya or kit, I would advocate for giving or selling for cost of materials plus shipping.  I'll put a regular link to this newsletter to that blog post so you can check them out every now and then.

Ryas are priceless and carry on a heritage and legacy.  If we can help people share those qualities with others who appreciate them, we are providing a service to keep rya alive and strong in the world.


Book Progress?

Progress every week in good directions, but still a challenge to complete. People keep telling me, "Just call it done!"  Nothing would give me more pleasure, but it must be right so I'll be proud to have written it for the rest of my life. The photos are going in now and it is coming to life!  I can't thank you enough for your patience.


Newly Completed Rya Rugs!

I love posting your pictures you send me.  Here are a few that have come in recently.

Here is the most recent rya designed and 
made by Marsha McIntosh of Sun City, AZ.  

Eric Allen just sent this photo of his second rya of the summer.  He was in the Common Ground class this summer, finished his first, and now second, and has already started on his 3rd rya.  I think he has been bitten by the bug!

Faith Allen (no relation to Eric--above) completed this design that her mother started decades ago.  Its name is Storm Reflections--and I know that because I am the designer.  I originally designed it in browns and beiges, but when Faith's mother selected the design, she opted for brighter colors.  Faith is thrilled to have completed her mother's dream with a little help from Byrdcall Studio.
And of course I had to show you the original Storm Reflections which I designed looking at a photo of light reflected in a woodland puddle!

This one is made by  Rae Welch of Lincoln, Nebraska.  I posted it on my Byrdcall Studio Facebook page and received many compliments for Rae.  In his words:  
"The sketch I did for the rya was based on a foundry workplace, machinery and smelting.  Did not name it but if I had to it would be "Foundry."

Connie LaPorta of Troy New York was in my class at Stitches United in Hartford, CT last spring.  She just sent me her completed rya which was inspired by an image of an aspen grove in the fall.  Beautiful.  (BTW: I'll be teaching again at Stitches United in March 2018.)

And just in yesterday...Heather Jasinski of Birdsboro, PA just completed her rya--soon to be pillow--which she designed and made through the Common Ground class.  She says this is her first of many ryas!  Nice work.

I occasionally come across photos you send and say, "Dang! I forgot to share that one."  Please resend photo if that is the case. 


 Rya Mentor Program Update
13 Helpers in USA, Europe, 
and soon Mexico

We got a new mentor last month in Florida, Angie, but she will be moving to Mexico this month and is bringing a big rya project with her to share with her new friends there.

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
  • Marian in The Netherlands
  • and Angie in Mexico --moving there from Florida this month
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." Basically I feel like I personally know most the mentors. 

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.


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 .  Drop-in Day is Wed., Sept. 20th.

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.  They are also offering a random color and size selection in hand-printed:  Listening, 3 Crows, Waste Not, and Thoreau.  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.  (I just replenished the basket!)
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!

Actually, that's not all.  I was going to share a lot more, but seems like we've reached saturation point for one newsletter.  Come see me at the Carroll Arts Center tomorrow evening 5:30 - 7.  

Happy Fall.  Be safe in the storms

Now, back to the book!




Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio
Woodbine, MD


Save the Dates!


Sept. 20th
Rya Sewing Circle
Open Studio Day
Work Day
at Byrdcall Studio

Saturday, Nov. 4th
1-Day Rya Rug Designing and Technique Class
4 students max.)

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