Rya Rugs

This is an ever-changing page on my web site.

I was born into a rya rug family.  My grandparents, Angie and Bill Lundgren imported rya kits and supplies from Sweden from 1955-1970s.

I worked as designer and “helper extraordinaire” for Lundgren Rya in the late 1970’s – early 80’s.  The rya business was sold out of the family in the mid-80’s, yet I continued to make ryas and teach with my small inventory of yarn and backings after moving to Maryland and focusing on a different career path, Environmental Education.

In the winter/spring of 2011, I designed and knotted what I thought would be my last rya rug while the local paper, the Carroll County Times documented in photographs and video the entire process for posterity.   It is posted on youtube.com and I invite you all to see it.  Here is the link: Melinda’s Rya Video.  Feel free to share this with anybody you think would enjoy it.  The video has been seen by over a half million people (Feb. 2018).  I have received many requests for materials and instructions.

  • I am writing a  book on Designing and Making Your Off-Loom Rya.  It will be released as a book in 2019!
  • I am a retailer of Rauma (Norway) rya yarns and backings as well as Åsborya yarns from Sweden.
  • I “bought back” my grandparents former business, Lundgren Rya, including a huge amount of yarn, backings, 100s of designs, needles, graph paper, etc.  This acquisition took place on October 26, 2013!

I have a unique knowledge and skill in designing and calculating needed materials for making rya rugs.  I offer my services to help you find materials and develop your technique.  I can help you learn to make your own rya rug, or I can match you with a talented knotter who can make it for you.

Tree of Life Design: Melinda Byrd 2012

YARN:  I currently stock about 264 colors in 5 different types of rya yarn. I could probably match any color you need.  I carry the Lundgren yarns (of course), all colors of the Norwegian Rauma ryegarn and prydvevgarn and backing, some Borgs Åsborya yarn from Sweden.

My sample cards show all.

Advice:  Start your rya quest by purchasing my Rya Sample Yarn cards.  Click here to see pictures and details about samples in my easy-to-buy Etsy shop.  It is best to make decisions with the yarns and backing samples in your hands.

I still have about 60 colors of the Lundgren rya yarn. Originally there were 91 colors, but there is no color shortage with the Rauma and Asborya yarn in the studio.

BACKINGS:

We now carry heavy woven wool and linen backings from Rauma in Norway.   Click this link for current prices–>  Rauma Backings Price List 10-17    Rectangular or square backings come hemmed; round backings have securely bound edges.

This is standard wool/linen rya backing

A wide range of backings to meet just about everyone’s needs.

  • For the budget-minded, a domestically woven acrylic backing on a cotton/linen warp; great for wall-hangings, pillows, and bed coverlets. 25-inch width, any length. Ask to have it hemmed with a loop-hem for a hanging rod.  $10 per linear foot plus $10 for hemming. Ask about discounts for purchases over 6 feet in length.
  • Medium-priced, domestically woven linen and orlon and linen and rayon backing hemmed to your desired length.  The orlon feels more like wool, but is lighter weight. The rayon is a heavier backing, smooth to the touch. Great for wall-hangings, pillows, coverlets, and for the floor in low traffic areas. (Supply is very limited)
  • Finnish backings woven in a surface knotted technique where the knots do not show from the back of the fabric, but the knotting technique is the same.  These are very heavy backings which are not widely known.  I recently knotted a rya wall-hanging on this type of backing and was thrilled with how dense the rya is.
  • If you are interested in where this all is going, please subscribe to my blog and monthly newsletters in the right margin.  It is the best way to be informed of the re-emergence of my rya services.KITS:

Surface Knotted heavy backing from Finland

I can order for you any kit you wish from Rauma of Norway. Click here to go to their design page, then click on the folders on the left to see more than one hundred designs.  (Note!  Rauma has been revising their web site making that link invalid.  Until it works again, download these catalogs.) 

1.  Raumaryer nr 2 katalog

2.  Raumaryer Nr 6 Katalog

3.  071601-10 Weidemann 1-s

4.  Rauma Ryer nr 13-Katalog v

5.  Raumaryer nr 10 Katalog

6.  Raumaryer R971.pdf (10) 

7.  Raumaryer nr 12 katalog.pdf (2)

8.  Raumaryer nr 14 katalog.pdf (1)

9.  Raumaryer R972.pdf

10.  Raumaryer R991.pdf (1)

Make note of the design name, number, and size, and email me asking for the price.  I can order for you and have it in about 4 weeks.

I have bolts of various rya backings which I can hem for you, so let me know what you are looking for.  I list ready-to-go backings and yarn selections on My etsy shop.  But here you can download a list of all the available hemmed heavy-duty wool & linen backings I now carry from Rauma in Norway.  Tell me what size you are interested in and I can tell you how much yarn it will require.

I use etsy to show-and-sell my supplies since they are good good at letting me show 5 photos of each item I list as well as allowing for an extensive write-up.  It is convenient for most people to buy through etsy, but never hesitate to contact me directly via email or phone to discuss your needs.  I am an individual (not a major business) and all assistance comes directly from me whether you buy through etsy or through email or by phone.

I’m looking forward to helping you get started on your rya projects!  Cheers!