ByrdCall Studio

Hi, Friends, 

So close to releasing the book--I can taste it! It has been a month of critical decisions and online paperwork with final details. Editors are hard at work. It is moving forward at a steady pace.

Yet other things are happening in the meantime. It's all good. Read on.
Happy FALL! 

In this Issue:
  • THE BOOK Status Report
  • The Winner of the Book Naming Contest
  • Shop and Visit on Sunday, Nov. 10th 
  • Noon - 4:00
  • Volunteers Needed for Studio Work Day
  • 166 Rya Rug Friends Group ~ why not you?
  • Call for Photos of Current Rya Projects
  • Mentors Available and Needed
  • Frequently Asked Questions and ... 
  • Wishes for a Great Fall!


The Book Report:
Let the Countdown 

Last month, things were moving forward in a very positive way.  With this report I am happy to tell you the book* has been to the editor and back again. Editor-in-chief, Marilyn Dorfman really took her job seriously as we all hoped she would. I admit I was surprised at how many little corrections on each page had to be made. I reviewed her every comment and passed the manuscript on to Ken Koons (the book's producer) to make all the changes! 

Next up in the editing process is JoAnn Zaleski who has worked with designing and making ryas and helped with design work for some of my customers. She will look at the technical worksheets, charts, and instructions with the eye of someone who has been there and done it herself. After JoAnn's edits are made, and the book is as near perfect as it is going to get, it will go to the indexer in Indianapolis. Holly Janzen, a certified member of the American Society for Indexing (and a rya rug fan). She will make easy for you all to locate what you are looking for with the index. Once she returns the document to us, there will be no more changes.  YAY!

Now here is some really BIG NEWS:  During the first 7 years of this book-writing venture, we were planning to print it via the Amazon-affiliated printer, and the books would be sold by Amazon and by me directly.  But upon close scrutiny over the past two months, Ken and I realized that their prices would make the book too expensive for the average buyer. If we had hopes of selling to libraries and shops (and I do!), it would have been impossible to set a comfortable retail price. 

We began a search for a printer who could handle a book the size and quality of this book. Lo and behold, our search led us to a great printer right here in Maryland only a half hour drive from my house!  (Thank you for the lead, Ellen and Don Elmes.) 

We have registered with Library of Congress and we've secured two ISBNs. "Why TWO ISBNs?" you ask. OK, the other big news is we are going to print a hard-cover edition and soon after (maybe two months) the paperback edition. Many of you have requested one--or the other. With the fortunate turn of recents events, we can do both!   The publisher is now officially:   Byrdcall Studio, LLC. 

Last month, over 250 of you contacted me on the blog posting  (or directly) to tell me you are planning to buy a book. I am going to start with 500 hard-cover books, then 500 soft-cover books.  Thank you for your immediate feedback. With that many books, none of you will be without if you have plans to buy one.  Keep watching for this newsletter to find out the details.  The next newsletter will hold the details.

*book:  In case you are just tuning in for the first time, I have been writing a book on designing and making your own rya rug, history, stories, examples, worksheets, and lots of beautiful color photos care of Ken Koons. It is becoming a 3-dimensional reality this fall/winter.


And the Winner is . . .
Bobbi Thies
How many of you remember my request to help me find the best name for my book? I posted it as a contest on the Byrdcall Blog in Jan. 2018.  We received many great ideas--and some very clever ones, too. Thanks to all who gave it thought (and humor) and sent in suggestions. 

Bobbi Thies, a watercolor painter, author, and rya rug maker from Milford, Ohio suggested a title closest to the selected title. Originally it was going to be Design and Make Your Own Rya Rug  with a subtitle  A Hands-On Guide to Off-Loom Scandinavian Rya Rugs. Bobbi pointed out the need to put the words "Rya Rug" first and keep it simple. Good advice and you win a copy of my book, Bobbi.  

If you'd like to read all the tips and title suggestions,
click here. No new entries, please!


Open Studio Day
~Drop-Ins Welcome~
Sun., Nov. 10th ~ Noon - 4 PM
Mark your calendars.
Won't you come visit Byrdcall Studio? You can shop for hand-printed T-shirts,  framable woodcuts and linocuts, or yarn for holiday gift-giving, or you can stop by just to say "Hello!"  This is a good day to do it since n o appointment is needed. If you want to see rya rugs, you will. Maybe I'll have one in progress that you can work on. No pressure to buy anything.  1103 Hoods Mill Road, Woodbine, MD. 

Ask, and I'll put you to work! Or come on Nov. 15th. See next write-up.

I'm not doing any holiday art shows this year, so this is a good chance to "fix" your shirt addiction. 


~Volunteer Work Day~
Fri., Nov. 15th 10 AM - 4 PM., 

You can be one of my studio angels for an hour or two or for the day. This is typically a gathering of women (though men are welcome) to solve all the problems of the world while making yarn sample cards, preparing photo lay-outs for Etsy, or whatever I have on my to-do list.  Nothing too complicated unless you want more of a challenge.  No experience required--just a smile and friendly conversation. I have room for 6 helpers, so please email me to say when you would like to help so I can keep track. I tally your hours so you can have the benefit of using my savings in women-hours toward artwork or shirts.  That's  Volunteering with Benefits!

Up until now, we have used the old Lundgren Rya blank sample cards with old info and lots of empty holes where the yarn colors have sold out. These were the actual cards I filled with samples when I worked for my grandparents back in the late 1970s! They didn't look very professional, but they worked.

Last month I received from my printer brand new beautiful white cards with holes punched and ready for filling with yarn samples.  Look at the difference in the old cards and the new cards. We omitted all the colors that are sold out, though color #5 promptly sold out the next day.  Having a healthy inventory of samples will be important for me to have ready when the book is released.

angel_statue_with_wings.jpg To my regular crew of Studio Angels, this is a day for you if you can make it. Let me know so I can be sure to save you a seat. I thought this would be good timing for a few new angels.


Won't You Join the
166 Members in the 
"Rya Rug
Friends Group?"

Stay in-the-know all month long! I am loving this addition to the Rya Rug Revival. 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.  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.


Send Your Photos!

The only downside to having the Facebook Rya Friends page is I immediately share your pictures on that site and forget to share them here... but I know you enjoy them here. So over the next month have someone take a picture of YOU working on your rya rug and send it to me with a couple of sentences about your project.
Here are two favorites from the past month.

Ann Nilsson from Sequim, Washington is working on the Rauma kit she order named Njold.  Look at the amazing yarn rack.

In her words "I taught Norwegian Rosemaling in Minneapolis for several years and had more than 2000 hours of training from guest painters who came to teach. I eventually switched to Swedish painting and also taught it. The quilt rack was made for one of the classes in Minneapolis by a master woodworker who made many other Scandinavian items for painters. He is no longer living. It truly is a very nice piece."

And below ... 

David McKenrick from Cincinnati, Ohio has designed and made dozens of rya. In fact, I think this is #32. I love the boxes of crayons resting upon his sneakers.  I have a hunch the grandkids had something to do with that.

So, friends, whether you have just completed a rya or are in the process, please send a photo taken in good lighting. If you can label it with your name, that is helpful to me.  Thank you!


Frequently Asked Questions...

Q:  What is the best way to reach me? 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 am I located and what are my 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 I 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.
Find a Mentor, or Be One!
22 Mentors in USA, Canada, Mexico, and Europe

Can you pick out the Red  mentor tag that was not there in the last newsletter? We have one new mentor since last month: Gail from Black Mountain, NC. Thanks for volunteering. Eventually you will see a red tag in your neighborhood--or at least in your state  Anybody else want a highlighted tag? Everyone else has a white tag.
This is to assist someone who feel stuck in their rya work. Maybe they forgot how to make the knot. It happens. 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:
  • Gail in Black Mountain, North Carolina
  • 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. If you want to be connected to a mentor, just ask me.



Ha p p F a l l!
Wishing you a great Fall! I have had an extraordinary month. Not only did I learn  about publishing books, but I had studio visitors who inspired me to keep going in the work I do. I appreciate you all so much for your patience, enthusiasm, willingness to help each other, and zest!
I wish you the joy of making that final knot on your rya rugs with a smile on your face.

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



Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio, LLC
Woodbine, MD


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