ByrdCall Studio

Hi, Everyone, . . .

Thankfully, Byrdcall Studio is a short commute from home.

I am sending this with hopes that you all are doing well, staying safe, and finding enjoyment in life as we make it through this most unusual and challenging summer.

Every morning when the radio comes on, I expect to hear Sonny and Cher singing "I Got You, Babe" as another day begins that is pretty much like the day before--and the day before that. [Movie: Groundhog Day]

Yes, it is still June and the summer is moving fast. I've been busy each day with book sales, rya orders, and helping people with rya questions--but also with putzing in the garden, walking the dog, making pesto, waffles, and spying on the birds in my backyard. 

In this Issue:
  • Got Time for Rya? Inventory Update
  • T-Shirts for You--$10 towards Social Justice
  • The Latest on the BOOK
  • Got an Hour? Watch my Author Interview on YouTube.  
  • Color Blending Mini-Lesson
  • Let's Share with One Another
  • 247 Members in Rya Rug Friends Group
  • Mentors Available and Needed
  • Frequently Asked Questions and ... 


Rya Inventory Update

In case you are wondering, the Studio is quite well stocked with everything you might need to keep you busy and productive.  Currently I am well-stocked in all the Rauma Ryegarn and Prydvevgarn colors. (Last month I totally reorganized my supplies so I know at a glance exactly what is on hand.)

How many of you remember my grandparents' rya yarn:  Lundgren Rya?  Originally there were 90 colors; today I have 48 colors left. It is still $10 per skein with a discount of 10% when you buy 10 (or more) at a time. You can update your sample cards from this photo:

You may have noticed that I don't list the Lundgren rya yarn on my website due to the fact that some quantities are very low and I would have to constantly update the website, but anytime you want any Lundgren yarn, just tell me what you need and I'll confirm the quantities available for you.

I have no more Åsborya on hand, and only lemon yellow of the vintage Borgs Frostagarn at $5/skein.

Rauma Woven Rya Backings from Norway:  I am very well-stocked.  I have about 20 of the 25 hemmed backings available. And I have bolts which I can cut to any length in the following widths:  40cm, 80cm, and120cm. Just ask me.

Vintage Lundgren Backing is in short supply. I have been marking it at reduced prices on Etsy to move it along. It sells very quickly when I post it, so keep your eyes open for new (vintage) listings almost daily.

A few weeks ago, I was contacted by a nice woman (probably my age) who had purchased  100 x 180 cm (30" x 71") Swedish backing back-in-the-day (mid-1970s). She had every intention to make it, but never did.  I recognized the value, so bought it from her and now offer it to you my newsletter readers before I put it in my Etsy shop. It is in great condition with the gorgeous weave on both ends. There is a slight darkening along the fold line, but nothing that will show when knotted.  Modern day price would be about $250. Offering this one now at $180. Email me if interested.

Needles:  I've got a brick's worth in weight. Still a great deal at 50-cents each or $5 for pack of 10.

KITS:  Last month I listed 50 Rauma kits that I have available or could prepare for you and send within a day or two. Click on the word KITS to go the the Rauma catalogs on my website.  Click on the brown lettered catalog listings. Look at last month's newsletter for that list or check them out in my Etsy Shop


T-Shirts Sales to Benefit 
Social Justice
As if the pandemic wasn't enough to shake us into a state of greater awareness, the recent protests over the killing of George Floyd has also made us step back and reevaluate who we are and where we are heading. 

I know many of you have been fans of my hand-printed shirts as well as my silk-screened shirts.  I'm hoping some of you would like to help me generate funds to donate to the NAACP Empowerment Programs. 

For every T-shirt bought via my Etsy Shop between now and July 31, I will donate $10. This includes every shirt priced at $10 or more.)  I will report the results of this fund-raiser in my August Newsletter. Make a difference and enjoy a new shirt at the same time.  Thanks. It's one little thing, but it is something.

This Unity design helped to generate $1,300 towards social justice causes in 2016. I still have Unity shirts. Do I have your size and Color?


What is Happening 
with the Book!?

Much of my time over the past month or more has been spent selling and promoting the book.  So far (as of today) we have sold nearly 300 hardbound books.  Many thanks to all of YOU who have bought books and shared feedback. I really appreciate it more than I can tell you.

Books are now available not only through my website
 and my Etsy Shop , but also at the following locations:
Wall of Yarn   (Freeport, IL)
Vavstuga   (Shelburne Falls, MA)
Brazen Sheep  (Berryville, VA)
and Iltamaa    (Finland)
If you know a bookstore or gift shop where Rya Rugs--Design and Make Your Own would be welcome, will you kindly share my contact information so I can encourage sales to benefit other small businesses?

For European orders, right now there is only one retailer in Finland who sells my books, Iltamaa. I have been referring all my overseas orders to her since early April when the US Postal Service to Europe became backlogged. 

Did any of you watch the "Author Interview"  on May 18th?  It was broadcast live on Facebook by the Carroll County Public Library. Now you can watch it at your leisure on YouTube at this link. It lasts nearly an hour, but if you are interested in the "story of the book research and writing" I recommend it. I am interviewed by Ted Zaleski who asks very insightful questions.

If you don't have an hour, here is a nice book review posted by Vävstuga.  If you've been thinking about buying the book, but haven't made it happen yet, checkout this informative review.

The hardbound books have been moving pretty fast, so we have decided it is time to release a softbound re-printing . . . 

Look for details 
in the next newsletter!


A Rya Lesson for You

Whenever I work on a rya rug, I talk to myself in my head.  Actually, I am talking to you in my head, explaining what I'm doing and why I'm doing it as though you are there looking over my shoulder. In fact much of my book was written in my head as I worked on ryas, deep in conversation with you.

I posted this as a blog earlier this month. I think it would be very helpful for anyone who wants to learn to blend color.  Please click here to view whole blogpost.

In addition to color blending, here is a finishing touch trick that I learned from the Rauma Rya instructions in recent years.  I describe it on page 236 in the book, but you might get a better view with colorful threads in action on the gray backing.

It's just a simple whip stitch to cover the sides of a completed rya.  Try to stitch the width of the yarn so it makes a solid border. It is great with the Rauma backings which do not have a selvage. The border is firmly stitched, and this is prettier, more sturdy and gives a great finished touch, don't you agree?

I find that one strand of yarn can whip 5-6 inches. You can use your surplus yarn or you can order an additional 1/4 skein of the color you want to whip the edge.  It generally doesn't show much because of the shag pile. You don't need to whip the edge--just a choice you might like to try.

And here is the completed Red Sky at Morning.


Sharing With 
Each Other

Beginning again with the July Newsletter, I would like to recruit your photographic skills to make this a more fun, interactive newsletter.  Please send me a photo of your rya or rya-in-progress.  Have someone take a picture of you in your comfy place knotting away. If you can name the photo file with your name in it, that helps me out. Also give me a sentence about your experience (is this your first rya?, a kit design? with whom are you sharing the process? I'll try to share all photos that I can depending on clarity and space available.  Thanks.

Arne Solbak is working on his 8th Norwegian Rye Kit,
Perlemorsky (120 x 120cm/47" x 47") He's making one each for his three children, 4 grandchildren, and one for his wife and himself.  Knot on, Arne!


Rya Rug 
Group on Facebook

You are not going to believe some of the rya works happening around the world. Stay in-the-know all month long! I am loving this addition to our Rya Rug Revival. There is a lot of brilliance in this group...keep sharing.  I'll throw in my 2-cents on occasion.   ;-)  We have 247 members now!

If you are intrigued by making REAL 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.


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 
410-615-2473 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 410-615-2473 and please leave me a message.  During the COVID-19 pandemic, I will respect social distancing and will be happy to set your orders on the front steps for contact-less pick-ups if you like.

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. My Etsy shop is convenient because you can see up to 10 photos of each item for sale.  Etsy also calculates your postage automatically according to size and weight and where you live. That saves me lots of time....Not that I don't love communicating with you, but that is my #1 time-consumer in the day.

My Website is now up and running. It doesn't have everything I offer at this point, but in time, it will grow to reflect all I have to offer. If you have any problem in navigating or ordering from the website, let me know, OK?

As shops start to carry my books, I will list them as resources on my website.

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.


24 Mentors in USA, Canada, Mexico, and Europe

Let's be creative in how we help each other.  It wouldn't be wise during self-quarantine to have strangers over to share rya tips, but Mentors can Skype, Zoom, Bluejean with individuals or several people.  I don't have to be the only one to host gatherings of like minds.

When someone feels stuck in their rya work. Maybe they forgot how to make the knot. It happens. Rya help could be just a phone call away  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).  
  • Larry in Hyde Park, UT
  • 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
  • Laura in Blaine, Washington
  • 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.


Hang in there.
Life is totally not what we were expecting, but let's go with it.
We don't have much choice.
So I leave you in hopes that every single one of us not only survives the coming months, but comes through with new appreciation of the the good things in our lives. 
May your families and friends 
stay close in creative ways.
Stay safe.


"Nature Heals"


Melinda Byrd

Byrdcall Studio, LLC
Woodbine, MD


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