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

7 thoughts on “The Yarn Guys Come to Byrdcall Studio

  1. Well that sounds like a fun meet-up indeed. Great that you are in on something old that is now new and freshly rediscovered. Best wishes for more fun and success in 2015!


    • Thanks so much Deanna. So far it has been a great year and it is only mid-January. Wishing you a wonderful year, too! Melinda

  2. This is very exciting! What wonderful colors. The great range of white/gray/black/brown is giving me some ideas! I can hardly wait to see the backings and hear about the loom. I have been wishing I had a design for a rug knotting stand that maybe I could get my brother to work on for me. Working on a table is not easy as you get farther into the rug.

    • Hey, Judy! Yes, great colors, great quality. I usually use my lap for knotting (in the winter) or just fold it over on the tabe…or put your creative brother to good use! (Got you nice photo–thanks. soon…just as soon as I catch up on things around here.)

      • Melinda, The thing I love most about working with you is that you really understand the need for color variations and mixes in making a beautiful rya. When and if I start another rya, I think I will take you up on your offer to sent a mixture of colors in a certain range. Thanks so much for reviving rya making!

  3. Hi Melinda,

    I’ve been checking in on your posts since I first read your post about getting back into your grandparents rug making business. I initially found you while searching rug making because I have been thinking about making rugs for a very long time.

    When I read this post my palms started sweating and I felt slightly faint. I think the universe is telling me the time has come : ). I’m going to check your website for prices, etc.

    Thank you,
    Margaret Scott

    • Hi, Margaret,
      Sounds like you are “in love!” The universe speaks in mysterious ways. If there were two of me I would have dozens of kits listed on my web site. My web site isn’t ready for easy online sales but it is getting better. I use my etsy shop at for listings of sample yarn cards, backings, yarn. It’s just easier since I’m not proficient at web site development. Also I am just finalizing the line of products I will be offering on a consistent basis. Put this line in your browser as a good place to start: That is a good introductory packet with samples of all the yarn I have, swatches of many types of backing, and a complete price list with description of everything I sell for rya rug making. It’s great to hold it all between your fingers to get a feel for the craft you are consider starting. Then, what most people do is email or call me and ask for the backing or yarn they want…I can tell them how much they will need to cover it, I can help a lot. That is why I am trying to get my book written –so it can share with more people than I personally can. I hope to get you started on a project soon…everyday I am closer to being able to help people more easily.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *