Lesson #1 Rya of Monet is Now on its Way!

Getting off square one is always the most difficult part of a job.  Since I promised in my July Newsletter that I would have progress on the designing of a custom “Monet” rya kit order for Bill, I am happy to say it’s happening before I write the August Newsletter.

Bill wants a horizontal rya for a wall hanging behind his bed: 4 feet tall and 6 feet wide approximately.  He wants it to have the general “feel” of Monet’s Bridge over the Water Lily Pond, but not have it look like it’s supposed to BE the painting.  So my goal is to design a colorful abstraction of Monet’s bridge on graph paper with a yarn color chart for him to follow.  Here is my progress of the day:

Monet-cutting backing

I selected the most appropriate backing for the size.  It is 34.5″ wide.  Two stitched side by side will be almost 6′ wide.  Perfect.  So I cut it to be 4′ long with an extra several inches to allow for a hem.  Both pieces have to have the exact same number of knotting rows so they match up when stitched together.  (Notice that my grandmother–founder of Lundgren Rya–is watching over my shoulder.)


Then comes the hemming with my sturdy old Singer.  I zigzag the cut edge so it won’t fray as I handle it, then fold two rows over, zigzag them together, then straight stitch twice to be sure the hem is stable and permanently locked closed.Monet-hemmed for rodFor Bill I am making a nice open hem on the top so he can slide a rod for hanging through the tunnel.  It will keep the rya wall hanging nice and straight.Monet-4preparing the graph paperNow both backings are hemmed and ready.  Time to prepare the graph paper.  Luckily, this graph paper was designed for this backing.  There are 84 squares across the bottom of the paper and 84 knots will be made across the bottom of the rya. (Coincidence?) There are 82 rows (see those stripes?) in a 4′ backing.  So watch how I adapt the graph paper…Monet-5-ready for paintingI folded the center margins back so the graph lines match up perfectly.  I also cut the top off the graph paper and folded an inch of paper down for a white border…just for the heck of it. Now the graph paper is ready for the design.  AND I am ready to jump in for the fun part.  Stay tuned.  I’m going to be working on this tomorrow.  Any questions?

11 thoughts on “Lesson #1 Rya of Monet is Now on its Way!

  1. I love Monet. I think this kit as well as the finished Rya will be awesome. How can I get some of that backing material? I have a project that has been swimming around in my head for too long. lol I need about that same size as you are using here..

    • Thanks, Carol. I can’t wait to get started on it today. I have lots of backings in various widths. In fact, as I was hemming Bill’s backings, I accidentally mismeasured the second piece and cut it about 1/2 inch shorter than the first. (So of course I did a third one correctly for him.) I could do a matching piece for you that would be 3’11.5″ x 6′. Stay tuned for a while yet…I’ll be showing how I design in my next posting. You sound ready. Do you live nearby me–Woodbine, MD?

      • I am so ready to get started actually working on something and get out of the thinking/planning/designing(re-thinking/re-planning/re-designing) stage. lol I wish I were closer to where you are. I live in Louisiana but I am always up for a road trip. That is, when I can get my car and those $$ to cooperate. lol

        • …oh, and I’m not a perfectionist. Most all my assorted craft projects over the years are created from scraps. So, 1/2″ off here or there, no big deal. 🙂

          • Nice to hear from you again, Carol. I am ready to post Lesson 2 showing the next step…I might get my photos loaded tomorrow, or Friday for sure. (And I love your state, Louisiana, very much.)

    • You could do it, too, I swear! My next posting will make the process more clear: painting a design on the graph paper…then we will pick colors. I’ve got to get a little class together soon. Stay tuned.

  2. Great to see all the hard work behind the ryarugs.
    It’s very interesting and now the tropical heatwave finally is over, I can get back to knotting on my rya again!

    • Hi, Mia, Thanks! I thought people might like to see more of the process. So Sweden is having tropical weather? Weird. And here in Maryland on a mid-August morning, I am wearing long pants and a long-sleeve shirt! It’s so cool I almost considered closing the windows! My next rya design lesson will be posted soon…after the busy weekend.

  3. Hi Melinda, I just subscribed to you new letter and have been viewing your online lessons. However, I don’t know where to find the backing you use to make the Rya rug. Can you please help me?

    • Hi, Gloria. Guess I overlooked that detail. I buy the backing wherever I can find it. I am currently starting to buy a nice heavy wool and linen backing from Rauma in Norway. I am now a distributor of their yarn and backings. Email me and I’ll send you a size and price list. I also have about 100 yards of a lighter weight acrylic and linen backing woven in New York which I can hem to any length for you. It is about 27″ wide and costs $15/ linear foot. I have 34″ wide orlon and linen backing and 34″ wide rayon and linen backing. The best thing to do to “see it a”” is to order my yarn sample cards with backing swatches and price lists. It only costs $10 + $2.50 postage. Order it off my etsy site for simplicity. https://www.etsy.com/shop/Byrdcall. I have lots of other backing pieces in various sizes. Thanks for asking. Melinda

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