ByrdCall Studio

Hello, friends.  It is spring and I'm rearing to move forward on many things especially the completing of the book.  Just finished teaching another rya class at Integrace/Fairhaven in which 10 women designed and made rya rugs.
Judy Mantua displays her completed rya rug along with her colorful sketches, graph and yarn threading card at an exhibition of students' artworks at 
Fairhaven in Sykesville, MD.

In this Issue:
  • Book Update: The Final PUSH!
  • Be My Guest to see the Film:  Colette on April 5th
  • Sharing Rya with Rhea from MPT!
  • New Needle Organizers available in Cherry wood
  • Join our Rya Rug Friends Facebook Group.        117 members sharing rya questions and answers
  • Mentors Available and Needed
  • Get Your T-shirts at Eclecticity in Westminster
  • Sharing Time:  A Family Affair
  • All Swedish Needlework Supplies now have a new home
  • Frequently asked Questions and ...


Is it a BOOK Yet?

With April Fools Day on the door step, I almost played a little joke on you all, but I that probably would have gone over like a lead balloon. 

Here is where we are:  I'm giving the book pdf file the final proof read looking for every little thing that would drive me (and maybe you) crazy if I didn't fix it now. Spacing...inconsistent hyphenation ... etc.  Plus I have spent the past week adding the captions to the photos.  Two thirds of the book still needs the captions, but I am progressing quickly each day, then off for the two final proof-readings and the indexer's expertise.
It is so close to being done, I can taste it.


Supporting the 
Carroll Arts Center
(And I have a few 
free tickets to share!)

Every year, Byrdcall Studio sponsors a film at the  Carroll Arts Center  in Westminster, MD. On Friday, April 5th there will be a 1:00 PM and a 7:30 PM showing of the excellent film: Colette. 

COLETTE | Official Trailer
COLETTE | Official Trailer

I have some free tickets to share for both show times. One ticket per request please. Let me know which show you would like to attend. I'll have y.our tickets at "will call" for the 1:00 viewing and I'll meet you in the lobby at 7:15 for the 7:30 viewing! Let's support our local Arts Centers! Email me for ticket requests.

Please help me to fill the theatre!  You can buy tickets online as well.


My Crazy Day Dream 
of Sharing the Rya message with Rhea Feikin of MPT

Last weekend, I attended fund-raiser celebrating 50 years of Maryland Public TV with local art, wine & beer. (Not to mention that my good friend, Virginia Sperry, was demonstrating her unique weaving technique at the event!)

Rhea Feikin is known as "the First Lady of Public TV" and a huge supporter of the arts.  I must say I have had tremendous respect for her for decades.  So I worked up my nerve to "corner her" and tell her about my art passion: Rya!  Now I know many of you pronounce the word differently than I do, but suffice it to say that I almost got the giggles telling Rhea about Rya (and I do pronounce them the very same!)  She connected me to the woman who schedules the ArtWorks program on MPT for future reference.  I must get the book DONE first, but I think MPT would be GREAT for sharing this art, and it could happen folks...Stay tuned.


The Making of Needle Organizer Blocks:
New Ones Available

These two needle blocks were designed and made by my grandfather 40-50 years ago.  
We are carrying on the tradition.

My husband, John, has been kind enough to continue the tradition of making needle holders in the more simple version--like the one at the bottle of the photo above. He has made them of fir, poplar, and now cherry! 


117 Members the 
"Rya Rug
Friends Group"
as of 3/30/19

Welcome to all the new members of this Facebook Group. 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!


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

Two new mentors since last issue.  Can you spot the new hot pink tags?  In Santa Fe, NM!  Inger Blomberg Seitz at your service--and she really knows a LOT about rya and many other Scandinavian fiber arts. Also new this issue is John Terzakis from Woodcliff Lake, New Jersey.  Thanks to you both for stepping up!
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:
  • 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.


Local Folks Who Want My T-Shirts...
Go to Eclecticity

Shawn Lockhart operates this unique shop of hand-made works from dozens of local--and very exceptional artists, including me.  Since I don't do the Art Shows any longer to get my shirts into your hands, why not make a note to go visit Shawn at her Eclecticity store this month?  I just brought her a bunch of great shirts which she will gladly do her best to find the right size, design and color for you.  She will even text me with requests if you are seeking something in particular that she doesn't case I do.  You can find them at 15 East Main Street, Westminster, MD right across the street from the Library.  Click here to check her out on Facebook.


Learning and Sharing Time

Elizabeth Terzakis not only drew her design as seen here, but followed several pages of instructions from my book and calculated how much of each color of yarn she needed.

For those of you who can't wait for my book to be published, read this blog.  There is some great designing information contained in this illustrated story.

I'm not going to tell you too much here, so be sure to check out the series of photos and learn some techniques you can apply to many art forms.

And the final Sharing of the day is ....
A year ago I received about 100 lbs of the Swedish yarn supplies from an elderly Swedish woman who could no longer use her beloved "stash."  I have listed all that was available for the taking each month.  And today I am very happy to say that every single strand, pattern, and canvas has found a new home.  Thanks for stopping by, and thank you for giving the supplies new life potential!  If you missed this story ...   Refresh your memory here.


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

Eclecticity  at 15 E. Main St., Westminster, MD now carries many of my shirts.  Drop by there and ask Shawn what she has in your size.  Tell Shawn "Melinda sent me." By the way, she represents many talented local artists. I recommend a visit.

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.


I hope you all find time to get out and take a walk in nature.  I will, too.

I will also be diligent about getting to the finish line of getting the book published this spring--probably later spring or early summer.... It's going to happen.

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!

Open Studio 
Drop-In day
These dates will resume as soon as the book is done!
Watch for the next newsletter.

It is time to Register!
Rya Class at Common Ground on the Hill

Week I
June 23 - June 28
from 1 - 3:00 PM

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

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