10 More Rauma Rya Kits to Review

Here is the kit "Vinter" ordered by prolific rya rug-maker, Murray, from Novi, Michigan.

Here is the kit “Vinter” ordered by prolific rya rug-maker, Murray, from Novi, Michigan.

Happy New Year 2016!

Here are 10 more designs from Rauma in Norway.  These will come as complete kits.  We just received our first kit a couple of weeks ago.  The kit box comes with the appropriate sized wool and linen backing all hemmed and ready to knot.  It has all the yarn you will need.  They recommend two strands of yarn on the needle instead of three for their designs. You get a “kavel” (the ruler to wrap your loops around if you choose).  And of course, the graph, and needles.  I am always happy to start the first few knots for you, if you like.  It could take 4-6 weeks for your kits to arrive.  I ask for a $50 nonrefundable deposit when you place your order (to be deducted from your invoice when the kit arrives.)  Note: The colors in the photos here are scanned directly from the Norwegian catalogs.  The colors on the monitor may be slightly different than the actual yarn, but rest assured the the artist who designed the rug, designed it with the true yarn colors, which are spectacular!  And finally, there are two kinds of ryas among these kits.  One is completely Ryegarn from the Spaelsau sheep of Norway.  The other is a combination of two yarns, both from the Spaelsau sheep:  Ryegarn and Prydvevgarn.  The kits with the combination of yarns are a bit more expensive, but they have a more varied texture.  (I just ordered my first combination yarn kit two weeks ago (for Paul in Idaho Falls), so I’ll report on what I learn about it when it arrives.)  These ten designs happen to be “all ryegarn” and no prydvevgarn.

So here is Catalog #10 Rauma Ryer:

#159 "Barskog" Ryegarn only. 140 x 200 cm 55" x 79" $1,142.

#159 “Barskog” (Translation:  Coniferous”)    Ryegarn only. 140 x 200 cm   55″ x 79″    $1,142.

#327 "Gylden Sti" 120 x 200cm 47" x 79" Ryegarn only. $1,000

#327 “Gylden Sti”  (Translation:  “Golden path”)  120 x 200 cm    47″ x 79″    Ryegarn only.        $1,000

#10 FELL

#326/A “Fell” 120 x 200cm 47″ x 79″ Ryegarn only. $1,000. Also available in Blues. Request #326/B

#10 ILD

#106/A “ILD” (Translates to “Fire”) Ryegarn only. Multiple sizes/prices. Also available in Blues #106/B. 40 x 75 cm $206; 80 x 150 cm (31″x 59″) $586; 100 x 180 cm (39″x 70″) $790; 140 x 200 cm (55″ x 79″) $1,142, and 200 x 300 cm (79″ x 118″) $2,400.

#10 MOLL

#61/A “Moll” Translates as “Moth” 60 x 110 cm (24″ x 43″) $350. 120 x 200 cm (47″ x 79″) $1,000. Also available in shades of Red: #61/B, or shades of yellow-brown: 61/C

#10 TINDER

#325/B “Tinder” 120 cm x 200 cm (47″ x 79″) $1,000. Also available in two different colors: #325/A Black – Green or #325/C Brown – yellow.    In ryegarn only.

#10 TRINNING

#323/A “Trinning” 120 x 200 cm (47″ x 79″) $1,000. or 140 x 200 (55″ x 79″) $1,142. Also available in Gray – Blues. #323/B.    In ryegarn only.

#10 LYS

#116 “Lys” (Translation: Light) 100 x 180 cm (39″ x 70″) $790.   In ryegarn only.

#10 FJELLFLORA

#88 “Fjellflora” (Translation: “Mountain Flora”) Ryegarn only. 80 x 150 (31″ x 59″) $586.

#10 MOLTEMYR

#340 Moltemyr” (Can anyone translate?) Ryegarn only. 140 x 110 cm (55″ x 43″) $688.

And that is Folder # 10 from Rauma.   More designs coming ASAP in 2016.

Remember, I also sell the backings separately as well as all the Rauma ryegarn colors. You can ask me how much yarn any backing will require, and I’ll give you a good ballpark figure for your calculations.   I have graph paper in case you are inclined to design your own,  At Byrdcall Studio I have everything you would need to develop your own design.  (And frankly it will cost you less and you won’t have to wait long for shipment.)  I am relatively sure that my book on designing your own rya will be complete this spring/summer, so you have many options.

Start with my sample packet as seen here in my etsy shop.

 

Rya Yarn Supply at Byrdcall Studio Update

This is an important blog for anyone who is interested in my rya yarn supplies.  (If not, you won’t hurt my feelings if you skip this message.)  If you have my sample yarn cards, go get them and follow along with me.

pinksreds2The BIG NEWS is that I now carry every single color– 82 in all–of the Rauma Ryegarn from Norway.  I started slowly, but a year later my shelves are stocked with 5 or more of every color.  I reorder monthly so if you need more than I have, I can get what you need within 4-6 weeks. And I can send you what I have immediately to get you started asap.

These are the 82 Rauma Ryagarn color I have on hand.

These are the 82 Rauma Ryegarn colors I have on hand.  100 g skein. 2-ply.  75 M.    $16/skein.  Yarn sample card is $5.

soldout Lundgren copy

 

OK, Now pull out your Lundgren Rya yarn sample cards.  The yarn in the long skinny picture is sold out, but I have all the other Lundgren colors. (See at the bottom of this posting below)

This is the yarn that my grandparents had spun for them of New Zealand fleece by Harrisville Designs of Harrisville, NH.  No more of this yarn is being produced in the states. I still have thousands of skeins, but not in these colors.  If you are desperate for one of these sold out colors, feel free to ask me about it.  I may have a cut skein somewhere that I can offer you.  And I can definitely make a suggestion as to a substitute.

If you have your Lundgren Yarn sample card in hand, I suggest that you put an X through the sold out color numbers rather than removing the yarn.  If you leave the sold out yarn in the card, you can refer to that color when communicating with me.

If you don’t have a Lundgren Rya yarn sample card, I would recommend that you order my full line of rya samples.  I make this available for immediate sale at my etsy shop.  Click here to read more or to make a purchase.

The samples I send you include not only the yarn, but a variety of backing swatches to choose from as well as a detailed description and price list.

The next BIG NEWS of this blog is that I have now sold out of all of my Finnish Vuorelma yarn.  I only had about 8 colors in stock before they declared bankruptcy a year ago.  Very sadly this is one more Scandinavian Rya supply company that has succumbed to economical woes and lack of sales of rya supplies. (My guess.)  So if your yarn card has Vuorelma yarn on it, X them out.

And finally, I still have a solid supply of Asborya rya yarn from Sweden.  It takes me quite a bit longer to receive these Swedish yarns, but many of you love their softness.  In the yarn sample cards that I send via my etsy shop, I enclose a card of Asborya yarn samples.  As far as I know, no one else sells Asborya yarn samples.  They can be viewed online, or you can get the actual yarn to feel along with my rya samples.

Pirkanmaan Kotityo Oy Rya yarn samples - reduced

Pirkanmaan Kotityo Oy Rya yarn samples. Click on image to zoom in for detail.

I have bought rya backings from another Finnish supply company, Pirkanmaan Kotityo Oy.  I intend to purchase more of their backings and yarns soon.  This would be ideal for those making rya wall-hangings.  Here is what their yarn sample card looks like.  Heavenly colors.  A lighter weight yarn … so you can add more strands on the needle for endless possibilities for blending.  Acquiring more of their yarn will be a goal of mine for 2016.  Tell me below which colors you would be most interested in buying–no pressure or commitment!

Friends, this has been a long blog, so I appreciate your patience.  I just want to keep you informed of the status of your favorite yarns.  Please share with any other rya folks you know.  They will appreciate knowing what is available.

PS  For clarity, there is still plenty of Lundgren Rya yarn.  See image below. (Note: #91 sold out.)lundgren sample cards 12-2-15 copy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I Now Offer Rya Kits from Norway!

Rauma Ryer Folder11Reinlav-cover copyIf you have been patiently waiting for me to finish my book so I can create more rya kits for you to choose from, you don’t need to wait any longer.  I have been selling all the rya supplies offered by Rauma of Norway for over a year now.  I stock 76 of their 82 colors, and by November 2015, I will carry all 82 colors of their rya yarn (ryegarn) from the indigenous Spaelsau sheep of Norway.  I also carry their heavy wool and linen backings in 26 sizes.  What I did not have until this week, was access to their 125+ prepared kits.  Now I do.  This is huge.

Back in the old days when I worked with my grandparents, there was no internet with which to post photos of rya kits.  So you had to request a catalog which we had to snail mail to you to choose from.  It was a time-consuming and expensive process and hit-or-miss as to whether there were designs you wanted to make within that catalog.

Today, I am simply posting a few of the many designs you will see in the coming weeks. If you see one that you love, call or email me and order it.  I will place the order for your kit which generally will arrive in about one month.   I can send an online invoice to you, so when your kit arrives, I can ship it right off to you.  I will be adding instructions in English for those of you whose Norwegian is a little rusty.  If you are new to the rya process, I will start making the first row of knots for you to copy my process.   If you live within driving distance of my studio, you can pick it up (save shipping) and I will watch you make the knots until you are comfortable with the process–but that is something most people can easily figure out on their own.  The kit will have everything you need in it.  The ease of this kind of transaction will free me up to first finish writing the book, and eventually allow more time for me to teach classes and make up my own kits.  So without further ado . . . . The beginning of my Rauma offerings…Folder #11:

Rauma--Anemone -adjusted price

This rya has two types of yarn: ryegarn and prydvevgarn. The price for this kit is $386.

 

Rauma Ryer Folder11Harmoni copy

 

Rauma Ryer Folder11Kongle copy

Rauma Ryer folder11Leikarring copy

This heart-shaped design rya is knotted with two types of yarn: ryegarn and prydvevgarn. The price of this kit is $540.

 

 

 

 

Rauma Ryer Folder11Spire copy

This kit, Soldans, is made with both ryegarn and prydvev yarn. The kit price is: $386.

This kit, Soldans, is made with both ryegarn and prydvev yarn. The kit price is: $386.

Sommerfugl is available in 80 x 120 cm (31" x 47") for $488.

Sommerfugl is available in 80 x 120 cm (31″ x 47″) for $540.  This kit is composed of both ryegarn and prydvevgarn.

Rauma Ryer Folder11Tre

Available in 40 x 120 cm (16″ x 47″) for $286 or 60 x 110 cm (24″ x 43″) for $350.

Rauma Ryer Folder11Tulipan

Tulipan is available in the Reds as shown or also in Blues. The price for either is $350.

I think that is enough for now…. very soon, I will add more.  Stay tuned and thanks.  By the way, as far as the price of the kits goes … I did some calculations of what the basic materials would cost if bought separately, and in truth, the kit cost is very comparable.  I was surprised at how little mark up was added for the “kit construction.”  I figured some of you were wondering.

One of my most experienced rya customers, Murray, just ordered the first Rauma kit from me.  (He has made many Rauma kits though.)  When I received it and opened it to make sure all was in order, I noticed that the gorgeous yarn colors were a little different from the ones in the catalog.  Some of these catalog photos are old back in the day when the color vibrancy scale was amped up. (Think of the old National Geographics, where the vivid colors were a tab more vivid than reality.)  So you might expect your rya to be a bit more subdued than the photo.  Frankly, the colors in Murray’s kit were stunning, but you should know there is a possibility of a color variance.

And as a final note, those of you who are already designing your own, keep it up!  The kit is a great way to start, but designing your own is a rush!

Share Your Rya Story

Lynne, from Massachusetts has designed and knotted three ryas in the past year. Lynne was a beginner!

Lynne, from Massachusetts has designed and knotted three ryas in the past year. Lynne was a beginner!

I would love to have you share your rya stories with each other and me!   I’m looking for stories to add to the book I am writing about off-loom rya rug designing and making.  You can call me lazy if you like, but I feel rather than me telling you everything I know about rya, you might get more out of reading the book if you meet other people who have discovered rya. So if I think others can relate to what you have to say, or if you have a technique you would like to share or an opinion you would like to express, please share it in the comments below or email it to me at byrdcallstudio@gmail.com.

Nancy from Florida just completed a rya rug started by her mother decades ago.

Nancy from Florida just completed a rya rug started by her mother decades ago.

Anyone can post here (assuming it gets through my spam filter: me)  I will be selecting from these comments ones that would bring home a point to my potential readers of the book.  I will contact those folks and possibly ask for you to elaborate a little more and perhaps submit a photo of some of your rya work or a photo of you or both!  I will not be able to pay you for these comments, but if yours are selected to go in the book, I’ll send you a complimentary copy as soon as it is published.  If you work in a rya business, I’ll promote your rya business in the book.

My goals is to make the books as helpful and motivating as possible.  Sometimes beginners who have just fallen in love with an art can be the most motivational.

Heli MG's Award- winning Eco Fur Convertible Coat. Heli has turned rya into a modern fashion statement.

Heli MG’s Award- winning Eco Fur Convertible Coat. Heli, from Finland, has turned rya into a modern fashion art form.

So whether I know you or not, whether you made rugs for the first time this year or 50 years ago, whether you weave them on looms or on pre-woven backings, if you are completing a rya rug started 50 years ago by a parent, I want to hear your story–how you found supplies, how you discovered rya, challenges, rewards, designing experiences, ideas for the future, helpful hints, anything you would like to share.  Feel free to forward this to anyone with a story to share.

If you are wondering if your story is worth telling, just the fact that you are considering telling it means it is probably worth reading.  This blog is an easy place to start telling your story.  Go ahead; don’t be shy.  You will help give others confidence.  I may or may not be able to use it in the book, but I’d love to see what turns up here and how I can work more fun into the book with your perspectives.

Mia, in Sweden, lucked into finding a whole rya kit at an auction. She basically taught herself how to make it, and it is progressing nicely. Is it done yet, Mia?

Mia, in Sweden, lucked into finding a whole rya kit at an auction. She basically taught herself how to make it, and it is progressing nicely. Is it done yet, Mia?

I hope to have the “stories” in place in my book rough draft by the middle of September, so if you are tempted, please send your stories soon.  Many thanks in advance.     Melinda

I’m Teaching Rya at Common Ground on the Hill this Summer!

Student making color blending choices

As you may know, I have been a regular “student” of the Traditions Weeks at Common Ground on the Hill  since 2000.  If you are not familiar with their programs, take a look at their web site.  It used to be a one-week long residential (and commuter) Arts Camp focusing on the arts in all genres from all cultures. For the past several+ years it has grown into a 2-week camp. During Week II, I am teaching Scandinavian Rya Design where you will design and make your own rya with my guidance. (If you don’t know about rya, watch this 10-minute video I made with the Carroll County Times in 2012.)

I highly recommend taking the whole week off of work or routine if that is possible, and immerse yourself completely in the program. There are 5 periods each day plus meal time and concerts and lectures in the evenings and nights. You will meet people not only from all across the USA, but also the world.  You can also just sign up for one class, but believe me, you will want to stay for more each day.

Byrdcall Studio is filled with colors today.

Students from a previous class create their color combinations that they will knot onto their woven backings.

My class (in Week 2) runs from Monday, July 6 – Friday, July 10 from 9  – 11:45 AM.  We currently have 5 students signed up, but this kind of class is even more fun with a few more because you all will get to see what each other are working on which expands your knowledge of the craft. You don’t need any particular skills or knowledge in fiber arts. I can provide all the supplies you might need since they truly are very hard to find otherwise.)  Click here to see my Workshop Write-up.

ShelvesofyarnFor those of you who live out-of-the -area, what a perfect chance for learning new skills, meeting new people, enjoying (and learning) arts and music from all around the world in a safe and easy environment–McDaniel College campus in Westminster, Maryland.  If this interests you, do not delay.  Classes are filling quickly.  Hope to see you there.  Feel free to share this with anyone who love the arts and sharing and learning with others.

Melinda

1series

This is the beginning of Angie Michal’s very first rya which she designed and knotted.

disc2

Who dun it? Solve the Rya Mystery…

At this point, after hanging out in the rya world for 40-something years, I thought I’d seen it all.  Then my world is rocked, and I’d like your help to figure out this mystery.  After I sent out my last newsletter, I received an email from a woman named Eleanor whose sister has recently passed away leaving an almost untouched rya kit. Perhaps sensing my commitment to keeping the art of rya alive, Eleanor sent me all of her sister’s supplies. There was a graphed design, a threading card, a backing about 2′ wide and 4.5′ long, curved needles, and the most amazingly prepared yarn I’ve ever seen.  Who put this kit together? When?  What country were they from?  Where was their business located?  Why have I never seen this style of rya before?  Let me show you. . .DSCN7119

Here are the details for anyone who wants to ponder this.  The backing is typically Scandinavian with a dark wool thread woven in the weft every ten rows which makes counting the rows easy.2015-05-08 14.27.36 What I’ve never seen before is a dark linen thread in the warp woven to help you keep your place as you use the graph paper.  Brilliant!  Have you ever seen that weaving technique?  Tell me if you have. The other interesting thing about the backing is the knotting rows are closer together than in the typical Scandinavian backing. This is definitely going to be a dense rya.

Yet it is the yarn that really took my breath away.  Who ever put this kit together had high quality yarns and a skeining machine which could simultaneously blend many yarns together at the same time.  They selected various weights of both rya yarn with its rope-like twist and what I believe is dyed linen, and blended 3-6 strands all together on the skein.  So when you go to load your needle, you have the blending all right there at your fingertips.  I’ve never seen this before.  Gorgeous colors too!  Who on earth did this?DSCN7125

The threading card has the name Susan Hammal who I imagine is the designer of the pattern, “Earth & Sky” but could be the creative one who did the labor-intensive preparation of the supplies for a whole line of patterns. Does her name ring a bell?  Google was no help, so it’s been a while since she did this, I bet.   Look at the notes below  DSCN7121

Notice the words, “3/4″ & 1 1/2″ pile.”  I always teach to cut the loops unevenly, but that is quite a dramatic difference in the pile length.  I like it!

Eleanor thought that her sister had purchased the kit in New DSCN7123Jersey.  That is a clue, but still all basic questions unanswered.  There was a “ruler” with the kit to ensure that the knots were made at a uniform loop-length.  (My grandparents never used the rulers, and neither have I, but many people only make rya with a ruler.)

DSCN7129The curve-tip needles were a surprise to me.  A customer once asked me if I carried them, and I had to confess I had never heard of them.  I don’t think they are made anywhere on earth right now.  Please tell me if you have a source for them?  (Sorry, I’m going to keep these.)

While I knotted my recent Fireflower rya kit prototypes, I used the curved tipped needles.  I like using them, but the straight tipped ones really work just as well.

DSCN7120The only weird thing is that the graph doesn’t seem to have logical color blendings next to each other.  It’s too hard to explain, but at a glance I can see that Eleanor’s sister probably was frustrated by what could be a designer’s error.  Maybe you can see on the graph below that color blending #1 (whites) is shown in other areas with the #1 showing which would give no contrast of course and may have been a slip of the pencil when numbering the graph.  If only we had a photo of what the finished rya looks like, we could figure out the intended color scheme. (Oh, I may have just figured it out.)DSCN7124I’d love to find the time to piece this puzzle together.  What clues can you offer?  The red tag says “Norwegian Rya Rugs” but did they come from Norway in this format?  Or do you think Susan bought supplies from Norway, then created her own kits?  Ah, I can hardly sleep at night.

So I am comforted to know that another artist who went before me was doing the same thing I am working hard everyday to share with you.  Her kits were spectacular.  I just wish I knew more.  The blog here is a great way to share info with one another.  Your comment won’t show up immediately, but check back in later to see what others have said.  And a final shot of the gorgeous yarns: DSCN7122

Eleanor, thank you so much for sharing!

Melinda

Rya in a Day!

"Fireflower"

“Fireflower”

OK, I admit, it is only 12″ x 12″, but that is because I made it for the 12th Anniversary of my favorite art people, the Carroll County Arts Council.  The Carroll Arts Center opened the doors to their new home in the old art deco theater at 91 West Main St, Westminster, Maryland 12 years ago.  (I was fortunate to be a member of the Board of Directors back when this excitement was taking place!) They are celebrating with an art exhibition where every piece hanging on the wall will be 12″ x 12″ and sell for $144.00.  What a bargain! The show is called Footworks and will run from April 16 – June 5.  Opening reception is 4/16 from 5:30 – 7:30 PM.

1Now for you rya-curious folks (or rya experienced folks) here is what I did.  I hemmed an acrylic rya backing to 12″; no problem.  Then I did something I have never done before.  I cut the backing vertically to 12″.  I’ve always told people not to do that because it would compromise the strength of the rug, but, hey, this is only a 12″ piece.  No one is going to walk on it.  So I zig-zag stitched the edge a few times, and it was a perfect 12″ x 12″ piece.

Then with a laundry marker I drew the rough image of concentric “flower bloom” lines [Theresa Nkonde’s interpretation] or “nebula explosion lines” [Marge Simmons’ interpretation].  By 9 AM I had the drawing complete.  I had no intention of working on it all day.  I gathered a few small partial skeins of random “hot” colors and started knotting at the lower left corner.  My intention was to work for a half hour or so blending the darker colors to the yellow-hot center adlibbing all the way.3

I had yarn orders to fill, I had a book to write, a dog that needed a walk, and a lasagna to make before supper; but throughout the day I kept going back to this little rya just to see how “one more row” would change its appearance.

5

I was addicted, I admit, so I worked feverishly off and on all day.  Why did I use the acrylic backing you ask (instead of wool)?  For one thing, I have a lot of it, and it is the least expensive backing I have. Also, it is white which makes drawing images on it a cinch, and while it is not really a floor-worthy backing, it is great for a wall-hanging or work of art.  And for the first time, I used 4 strands of yarn on the needle instead of 3 to really give it a rich solid feel.  And finally for you really perceptive folks, you might be wondering how it would fit as a 12×12 piece of art when the pile clearly extends beyond the 12×12 backing.  You are so observant!  As I knotted, I pulled the knots just tight enough to bring the width to 11.5 ” and the pile extends out the extra width to make it a perfect 12×12.

6Well, you guessed it, before the sun set, it was complete, and I love it.  So HOT!  I realize I could do the same backing preparation for others and gather similar yarns in small amounts (in some cases just a few strands of certain colors.)  So this will be a high priority for me to make available for others.  I’ll come up with a few color schemes, too.  Stay tuned–or if you can’t wait, just ask me to make a kit for you.  The acrylic backing is really 27 inches wide.  I might suggest keeping it that width so it doesn’t have to be cut.  The over all look would be almost the same.  Just wait and see what I come up with as an offering for those of you who really like this piece.  I call it FIREFLOWER.

Watch it GROW in time-lapsed video–a one day rya.  Click below for a silent 30-second show.

Has anyone else tried drawing a pattern on a backing?  How did it work for you?  It sure makes for a fast knotting project.  Feel free to offer comments below.  Your comment won’t appear immediately, but soon after you post, it will be shared.  Thanks for reading along with me.

Spotlight on Angie Michal and her First Rya Rug

6serieswith dog

I’m a sucker for a furry friend on a rya rug. Pets find them irresistible.

I like to feature other artists now and then.  It gives me something fun to post, without too much work on my part.  Angie from Coral Gables, Florida contacted me in the first week of January this year wanting to make a rya rug.  She had a vision and I helped her by sending her digital images of yarn colors to see what would work best for her.  She did a “custom order” in my Etsy shop of backing and yarn, and the new needle holder, and with no more help from me she created this amazing FIRST rya project!  Here’s Angie’s story:

4seriesThanks Melinda!

First and foremost I want to thank YOU for your enthusiasm and your willingness to help and share.

I got a subscription to Juxtapoz (an art magazine) as a Christmas gift. The first issue I received featured two or three interviews of artists alongside their work.  I enjoyed these ‘talks’ very much – I’m very interested in understanding where a work of art comes from and how it comes to be.  It was in one of these interviews that rya rugs were mentioned and, since I knew nothing about rya rugs, I went to Google to find out.  I came across your name and video and got hooked immediately.

1series

Look at Angie’s set up. See her colored graph paper on the left? Her colors all tagged with numbers to correspond with her graph. And notice the brand new needle holder constructed by my husband in my grandfather’s design. This woman is set to go!

7series

Here is an encaustic wax piece of Angies. Exciting medium to play with!

I am a stay at home mom.  I have four kids, our oldest is in college and our youngest is 7 years old.  I trained as an architect and practiced until our first child was born but I’ve always wanted to be able to express myself in other ways too. I like to be able to work on my projects in the little gaps that I get between all the other things that happen in a busy household.  I worked for a while with soft pastels and I feel very comfortable with the medium.  I recently tried encaustic wax and I love the smell of the wax, looking for interesting papers to use, applying colors in different layers and adding texture.  My pastels are more representational and detailed whilst the encaustic wax allows me to just play. 

When I first thought of what my rya rug would look like, I thought of colors – bright colors.  I had an image of blues and greens, perhaps because we live near the sea, with a bright ball of fire on one end. You were a big help when we started communicating – you ‘got’ my thoughts and helped put the colors together.  I think the whole thing happened because you were there straight away.  And not long after I placed the order my package had arrived! 2series

I went to work on that Saturday as I waited for my teenage son to return home one evening.  I feel there are two distinct phases in my experience of rya making.  The design process, the choosing of colors and picturing what it’s going to look like is full of energy, going back and forth, standing up and looking at it from far and then coming up close and splashing some more color here or there…

3series

I love to see the process of planning color arrangements. Here, I bet Angie was trying to visualize the finished rya by laying hanks of yarn on the bare backing.

The actual making of the rya, for me at least, was like meditating.  Knot after knot you keep completing rows and that is the perfect balance between switching off and being just barely present.  If I had a busy day I would excuse myself, sit at my desk and make a few knots and I was good to go.  It was like magic for my soul!

I am happy to say that I am working on a sketch for the next rug!  Can’t wait!  This one, I think, will be more geometrical.  I am looking at Bridget Riley for a project that I am helping my daughter’s art teacher with and perhaps I’ll let that inspire me…

Thank you for letting me share!                        ~ Angie

 

5seriesAngie, Thank YOU for sharing.  You are very inspiring and your rya is spectacular.  have you named it? Do you know where it will hang or lie?  Comments from others are always welcome.  Feel free to dialogue with Angie here. Cheers, to all!   melinda

New Feature: Rya Artist Spotlight on Judy Nelson-Moore

1Judy

I generally share info about what’s happening in the studio or how I do a certain art technique, or fun art shows coming up.  This month I want to share with you someone who has amazed me beyond words. Judy Nelson-Moore, an accomplished ceramics artist from Santa Fe, had never made a rya rug in her life, but contacted me with an email that started: “After seeing your website, reading your blog and email news, buying a rya backing, and ordering rya yarn samples, I almost feel like I know you!  I hope you will not mind if I send you pictures of the entry rug I plan to make using the backing I bought from you and ask your advice about the yarn.”  Thus began the a relationship across the states, of one artist with another.  Judy shared with me her technique for graphing her design with the help of her extensive computer know-how.  2original imageGraphing with the help of a computer had been something I’d been trying to figure out for months!  She applied logic and figured it out.  She went on to say, “Unfortunately, the ease of doing the designs was almost a liability.  I have about 200 images in my “rya” folder.  It has taken me far too long to decide, but I finally have the selected design.” The design she chose was full of blended shades which could be daunting to most beginners, but I had no doubt she could do it.  3FinalDesignwGraphOverlayShe made a graph overlay and plotted out her course.  Next she had to select colors to make this design come to life. Since she had the sample color card in hand, she selected lots of colors.  I am always happy to help a designer by cutting skeins so they don’t have to buy more than they need just for small areas or highlights.  5YarnFrom MelindaByrdForFirstRYARug_1000

So once Judy gave me her yarn request, I piled it on the studio table and send her a photo to be sure the pile matched her vision of her rya.  The yarn was all Lundgren yarn (my grandparents’) and the backing from Finland if I’m not mistaken.  With the yarn in her hands, she was able to more accurately chart out her progress. 6 RyaRugYarnSwatchColorAreasShe created needle threading combinations and a color chart for herself. Everyone does this differently and it is great fun for me to see how she chose to keep her vision on track.  In essence, this is comparable to the painter’s palette where countless color combinations can be created.  (Other rya artists, how do you create your color combinations?)

At just beyond the halfway point these are some of the most subtle blendings I’ve ever seen in a rya. (And I’ve seen a lot of ryas!)  Look at the strands of yarn on the margins–her way of knowing when to change colors.   She followed the graph very closely up to this point she tells me.

7january judynelsonmoore rya - CopyI can only imagine that half way into the rug, she began to feel like the “captain of the ship” and details of the graph become less important than the feel of blending colors.

8judy nelson-moore with rya (2)A few days ago, I received another email and more photos from Judy.  It read, “Melinda, I finished the Rya Rug I had started knotting in September.  In retrospect, it doesn’t seem so very long, but it has seemed like a long time during the making!  Thank you for being there when I decided to make this rug…couldn’t have done it without you!  I really love the finished rug.  My husband thinks we should hang it on the wall instead of putting it on the floor where our three cats will probably adopt it, but I am fixated on putting it in the entry to replace my grandmother’s rug. “9Completed rya in situ

What do you think, friends?  On the floor or on the wall?

Your choice, Judy. On the wall, it will always look as beautiful as it does today. On the floor, it will still be beautiful, but will gradually show signs of living and household activities.  In this photo, the rya is a great focal point in your hallway gallery.  I think if your three cats have any say in the matter, it will stay on the floor.

 

10Diablo Inspects 1stRya

I am often asked if I find satisfaction working on the computer so much, cyber-connecting with people who I may never meet…such an impersonal way to conduct business.  NOT!  Most of my rya connections are with people who live very far from me.  But with connections like I’ve made with Judy, I can honestly say that I am more than thrilled with life as it is.  Once my how-to rya book is published, I will be able to get out more, meet people, teach classes.  I am really looking forward to that.

Would you like to learn more about Judy Nelson-Moore?  You might even see in her ceramics works designs similar the the rya design she brought forth.  Take a look at her website to see her other works.  http://judynelsonmoore.com/.  I think I would like to see her add on to her Dancing Mud Studio an area called Judy Dances With Wool!

11nextprojectIn Judy’s first email to me, she had just selected her design from many she had created.  Here is another of her designs that I really liked and hope it becomes her next reference for rya #2.

Wouldn’t you just love to see this in wool?   I have already put the bug in her ear that she may have requests for designing assistance from others. We’ll see. Go, Judy, Go!

PS  Judy recently wrote about her experience with the rya project from her perspective.  It has a lot more detail and background info.  Take a look for “the rest of the story.”  http://judynelsonmoore.com/category/other-media/

 

The Yarn Guys Come to Byrdcall Studio

The Yarn Guys

Three Yarn Geeks: Me, Dennis Rinkenberger, and Jeffrey Wall in Byrdcall Studio

One year ago this month, I found The Yarn Guys.  They are the exclusive distributors in North America for the Rauma Wool Factory in Norway which has been producing excellent wool yarns since 1927.  Anyway, I found The Yarn Guys in Illinois in pursuit of the best rya rug yarn available to supplement my rya yarn supplies.   It is spun of fleece from the indigenous Spaelsau sheep of Norway, a tough and hardy breed.

Gorgeous natural grays

Gorgeous natural grays

I have been gradually buying more and more ryegarn (rya yarn) colors from them as well as awesome heavy wool backings.   It has been years since I’ve seen natural grays in rya yarn… Look at the mixed fibers in these skeins.  And the dyed yarn is gorgeous, too.

So it came as quite a nice surprise to get an email from Jeffrey Wall of The Yarn Guys yesterday saying that he and Dennis Rinkenberger–the other Yarn Guy–were heading to a yarn show in New York City and heck, Baltimore is nearly along the way from northwest Illinois, so why not stop by my studio, bring me some Rauma Rya kit catalogs and check out my studio.  We had a great morning together “talking shop.”

Look at this luscious spectrum of colors!

Look at this luscious spectrum of colors!

Why is this so exciting to me? Well, how many people do I come across in real-life-time who even know what rya (rye) is, much less work with the yarns everyday?  So much of my day is on the computer emailing and responding to rya questions, which–don’t get me wrong–I enjoy very much, but face to face with other humans who live and breath this stuff is exhilarating. One of the most exciting things that I learned is that I am the only supplier in the USA at this time for the Rauma rya backings!  That is very cool.  And I am totally sold on the quality. I think that I will soon be on my way to adapting my “hundreds of designs” to fit the Rauma backings.  The other cool thing about meeting these guys today is the fact that they are just learning about rya rug-making now, and I’m hoping that they left feeling like the possibilities are endless…which they are.

… And later in the day, the floor loom that my grandfather, William E. Lundgren, made half a century ago came back home to me today… but that is another story for another day.

Love ya!   Melinda