Hello, Dear Friends . . .
Let's all take a breath. I know most of you are feeling the stress of not knowing what to expect in the near future. I'm in the same boat with you. It isn't a comfortable feeling.
My daily dose of "normal" comes in several forms: a walk with my husband and dog; a forage through the vegetable garden for anything I can still salvage before the hard frost hits (mid-November and I'm still getting chile peppers, borderline-OK tomatoes, turnips, Swiss chard, cilantro, and miscellaneous forage); and then my day focuses on you.
I treasure your emails, photos, orders for supplies and kits, questions about designing, phone calls, and occasional masked studio visitors. You keep me busy and hopefully I keep you busy, warm, and content to to have your hands immersed in rya wool and colors. I've had more orders than usual because of the pandemic and because the book is guiding you towards your goals. I work alone so I must focus to stay on track.
What I have not found time to do (and I apologize) is communicate and share with you more often. There are only so many hours in the day *sigh.*
In the coming month I hope to reenergize my blogposts to invite your conversation for all to see, and sharing more of the wonderful stories you have been sharing with me. Please stay safe and take nature walks daily . . . and breathe.
- Apologies for Phone Rudeness ;-)
- Updating Byrdcall Studio Website
- Shopping website vs. Etsy Shop
- Zooming With Rya Talk?
- Fall Inventory Additions and Updates
- I'll send your holiday gifts to you--Stay Home
- Photo Sharing--what is everyone doing?
- Inventory Update and a Story for you
- 278 Members in Rya Rug Friends Group
- Frequently Asked Questions and ...
I Promise to Not Assume You are a Telemarketer
When my phone rings and I don't know who is calling, forgive me, but I assume it is someone trying to scam me or sell me something I don't want. I'm not too shy to tell them to get off my cloud.
Twice in the past month, I answered my phone with the "tone of voice" that implies "I'm warning you." but of course both times it turned out to be a very nice person with a rya question and I collapse at their mercy begging forgiveness. So. Lessons learned.
I won't do that again. But I do reserve the right to "block caller" if there is a 2-3 second pause then clicks after I say hello. Your calls are welcome and talking with you can make my day.
Byrdcall Studio Website Update
This spring, I hired a professional website designer to re-do my aging site. I think it is beautiful and quite functional. I figured that I would rather hire a pro than force anymore technical info into my brain which is about at capacity right now. Over the past few months I've realized that I need to update it more regularly and add items to the SHOP so it has the same offerings as my Etsy shop.
A few weeks ago, my web-man, Randy, spent about an hour with me (over the phone and Zoom) to teach me how to edit and add new items to the shop. I like having the ability to do this, but it takes time. I have been adding a couple of new kits each day to the RYA KITS page. Check it out here.
There are 18 kits there now and more coming.
I want to make the site very easy for you to use, so please email me (or call me if you dare!) to tell me if anything is not working for you.
People wonder what difference it makes to buy from website or Etsy. To clarify, all orders come directly to me. There are no warehouses nor employees to fill your order--just me. Compare to see which works better for you.
Advantages to shopping via Etsy Shop:
- More listings to view (177) from yarn to shirts.
- Up to 10 photos for each listing for clarity
- Extensive write-up of each item for sale
- Postage calculated by USPS app on Etsy
- Feedback Reviews of products and service
Advantages to shopping ByrdcallStudio Website:
- Sales tax not charged unless you live in MD
- Easier to fill "Cart" with miscellaneous types and colors of yarn because each ryegarn, Prydvevgarn, and Lundgren yarn color is listed separately.
- 10% discount automatically figured on 5+ skeins of Lundgren yarn
- Items are more clearly listed in shop according to the product.
- Shipping fee is calculated according to the size of the purchase. Sometimes to your advantage and sometimes not--when overcharge is made, I refund the overage immediately.
In conclusion, if nothing above strikes you as an advantage, do as you please and I'm happy.
I have been contemplating the possibility of getting together with some of you in small groups via Zoom to talk rya.
I've been Zooming with my family and a few circles of good friends, why not us? I'm not very Zoom-literate at this time as far as organizing and calling the meeting and screen sharing, but I know it's not difficult, and I can learn.
The big question is how would we organize it?
- For people with a rya in progress to share tips?
- For people who are working on a design?
- A Show-and-Tell?
- A Rya Happy Hour -- social distancing, no masks required for 30 min.?
- Meet Your fellow rya rug makers?
Think about this, friends. If we do it, I want to do it right. Fun. Pleasant for all. Not too long a period and all positive and upbeat. Any tips?
I want to get back to blogging as I mentioned at the top of this newsletter. This subject will be my first blog since spring (I believe), and you can comment in the comments section of the blog about what you'd like to see offered. This is just a tickler!
Eventually I will be teaching class series via Zoom. It will be so easy to have a group of potential designers with my book
in hand, so I can say, "Turn to page 168 and look at Chart 1." Teaching will be a breeze with the book.
Temporary Additions to Rya Yarn Inventory
and a story
I was going to add this as a fun, long story, but your time is valuable so here is the short story:
A woman named Mary in Hudson, Massachusetts (right near where I lived when I worked for my grandparents at Lundgren Rya) contacted me about a large supply of Bergå rya yarn from Sweden sold by my grandparents to a woman, Jean Abbott, who made lots of rya rugs. Jean had recently passed away leaving no one to take over her yarn supply--or other belongings--and no family. Mary and other neighbors were told to "help yourselves" to the household items. Mary took the yarn shown in the picture above knowing someone would want it, but there was a huge amount still there.
She found me on Etsy. (another plus
for Etsy.) She had no idea I was the Lundgren granddaughter. Then, all remaining items in the house were to be dispersed by auction, and I was too late to bid
. (The rest of the yarn (100+ skeins) sold at an estate auction for less than $80 as I recall.)
The very next day after the auction the winner of the auction, Patricia, contacted me to tell me she had little hand-written notes from my grandmother and old Lundgren brochures. (Patricia also found me on Etsy!) I asked her if she had any idea of what a great deal she won, and she was very excited: "My daughter turned 19 yesterday and has been talking about wanting to make rugs. She's an artistic young woman who's dabbled in a range of media, including knitting and sewing. I was on the lookout for rug-making materials when the auction with Jean Abbott's things came up."
Patricia went on to say,"We just moved to an old farmhouse in Western Mass., where, believe it or not, the prior owner was a weaver and weaving teacher who had a small studio building behind the farmhouse. My daughter's boyfriend and I snuck all of the auction goodies into the studio on Friday afternoon, and I spent about eight hours - no joke - going through the yarn, organizing things, winding balls, etc. We then arranged everything by type, covered each grouping with a small tablecloth or curtain, and then brought my daughter out for her surprise.
Clearly this was meant to be. Mary didn't want money for the yarn she sent me (top photo). She just asked me to make a contribution to one of Jean Abbott's favorite non-profits: Massachusetts Audubon. OK, so this is amazing because I worked part time for my grandparents and part-time for Mass. Audubon leading children on tours of Drumlin Farm, volunteering in the Wildlife Rehabilitation Center, and doing art work as signs and maps for them. I sent them a nice check.
Yes, that is the short version of the story. Mary and I had a lot in common, too, and now we are friends.
This is one reason why I love what I do! Thanks for reading all the way to the end.
PS I almost forgot to say that all of the Bergå yarn (minus the hot dark orange and two dark greens is available to you for $10/skein. Go to the Etsy shop to see more.
Safe Holiday Shopping
for Unique Gifts
Most of the items I carry are rya-related, and how many people do you know who will be thrilled to get a rya skein? I know.
But no worries--I still have lots of other things just waiting to find a home. Etsy is where you will find them.
! I still have hundreds of
Just take a few moments to click away thinking of people on your shopping list. I have some unusual items that most people never see because they are just looking for rya supplies. Have fun looking.
If you love looking at people's photos, please consider joining our Facebook group described in the next article. Everyday pictures are posted there. Sometimes I nab a few of them to supplement this segment of the newsletter. Here are some of the recent shares I have received from readers!
Here is a rya in progress being made by Kirstie Somers from Victoria, BC in Canada. She bought the 60" x 90" backing and 10 skeins in May 2014. Every season she buys another ten skeins or so and slowly creates her rya like it is a puzzle being put together piece by piece. As it nears completion, she says,
"I think I'll use it for a children's room when and if I get a grandchild. I feel the colours would be very stimulating for a child. I have left it untouched for months at a time, but the end is near." ~ Kirstie
Here is a series of photos sent by Inger Terzakis. You may recall that her active rya-making husband (featured in a few of my blogs) passed away suddenly from COVID-19 this Spring. Inger is completing his last rya.
"I don't have the name of this one. It was made in 1964 by John and me." ~ Inger
* * * * * * * *
"This one is called Droppsten. Made by John 1970
"This one is called Fjällbjörk, made by John 1971."
"This rug is called Sienna and was made around 1964 by my parents. ~ Inger Terzakis
Note from Melinda: I am not familiar with those designs. Do any of you recognize them?
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * *
Here is a kit I offer from Rauma called Bønn ("Prayer" in English) Two people have been making it this fall. here is the completed rya made by Donna Martinsen from Petersburg, Alaska. I want to point out that these colors are more true than the colors you might see in the old Rauma catalogs. This kit uses 4 strands of the thinner Prydvevgarn on the needle and no ryegarn! Click here to see in SHOP.
* * * * * * * *
And finally one of the older Rauma designs called "Viking" made by Della Curtis from Wichita, Kansas. Beautiful needlework!
That's all for now. Keep those pictures coming!
Snap a picture of your project in action and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org for the next newsletter. 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--your children? I'll try to share all photos that I can depending on clarity and space available. Thanks.
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 279 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.
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?
Email me at email@example.com. 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 completely 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. Or we can "mask-on" get you started on your project at an outdoor table here until you feel comfortable to do it one your own if you are a beginner.
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 Byrdcallstudio.com
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:
And as always, feel free to share this newsletter with anyone you think might enjoy it.
26 Mentors in USA, Canada, Mexico, and Europe
Let's be creative in how we help each other. It wouldn't be wise during the COVID-19 pandemic to have strangers over to share rya tips, but Mentors can Skype or Zoom with individuals or several people. I don't have to be the only one to host gatherings of like minds.
Mentors don't have to be experts at everything, just willing to help where needed in their communities.
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).
- Lisa in Miamisburg, OH
- 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 Manteo, North Carolina
- 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. firstname.lastname@example.org
A Few Parting Comments:
Hang in there, Friends.
We can get through this difficult period.
Life is totally not what we were expecting,
but let's go with it.
We don't have much choice.
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.
Take a walk surrounded by nature when you are feeling blue.
May your families and friends
stay close in creative ways.
Direct Link for Book Purchase
Whether you have been waiting for this book for years or if you are just discovering at this moment that it exists, no reason to hold off on treating yourself! The reviews have been outstanding. It is now available in either hardbound or soft bound cover. Click on the cover image to learn more.
Price: $ 49 Hardbound
Price: $ 39 Softbound
S & H: $ 5.00
6% MD State tax for instate purchases only
Byrdcall Studio, LLC