Students Design their Rya Rugs

Melinda and Erma Gebb work on color selections.

Last winter I made “my last rya rug” as documented in the video  During this video I explain the history of rya rug making from Scandinavia as well as my family’s background as designers and distributors of the yarn and backings.  See this post for more information:

Jo Ann matches yarn colors to her original graphed design.

Two of the four classes have passed.  Everyone is well on their way in knotting their rugs.  It’s great fun for me to see the ideas and energy on graph paper become living rugs right before our eyes.  The yarn colors are blended with the same effect as mixing paint.  Most students have drawn their designs on graph paper where they assign a number to each area according to the colors they combine–rather like a paint-by-number canvas.

Byrdcall Studio is filled with colors today.

All rugs will probably be done in a month or so, and I will post the finished photos at that time.  Too bad spring became summer so soon.  It’s a lot more comfortable holding a wool rug on your lap during the cold season.  At least it’s cool in the nights.

The studio has been busy.  Expect more picture-filled blog postings soon.  Until next time.


Rya rug class photos by Ken Koons; Carroll County Times.

One thought on “Students Design their Rya Rugs

  1. Hi Melinda
    Very much enjoyed your video on the Rya rug;
    it looks wonderful!!!
    As a fairly ‘new’ weaver, I found myself intrigued by the background fabric and did a bit of searching to
    see if I could find the technique for weaving it.

    The only online source I could find was in a book by Osma Gallinger Tod.
    It is called
    “Rug Weaving for Everyone” and is available in various online formats.

    In Chapter 5 the author outlines a technique which she calls:
    Embroidered flossa rug technique;

    it looks to me as though it would result in the foundation fabric for a rug made in the style that
    you have demonstrated.

    In an old McCalls publication which I bought some years ago … I found reference to a flossa or rya rug “on a fabric
    background”.I had read through this project a number of times … but had never understood what they meant by a “fabric background”… thanks to you
    this”mystery” has now been solved.

    The title is McCall’s Rugmaking and apparently editions ran from 1950 to 1968.
    Hope that this info might be of some use to you … as I think that you have certainly stirred up interest in this great craft.
    Best wishes for your work and thank you for the video!
    Kind Regards

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