A Tisket, A Tasket……

Dianne here….
We are out at our vacation rental on the coast of Northern California. We aim to come out monthly as there are a myriad of maintenance issues to do and supplies to bring…and we enjoy it. We try for mid week so as to leave weekends free for renters (special Braider rate: VRBO #615198) and our lives allow for that flexibility. Even with the maintenance issues, I find it so restful and productive to braid and hook while here….

Readers know I made a hit and miss rug for the great room last year. It replaced a modern abstract rectangular rug which was probably a decorator choice and came with the house, but I love the hit and miss and that it makes the house more ours. Here is a shot from the loft where we slept last time we were out as the house was full of relatives:


Hit and Miss with Cisco looking up at us….Note wooly worm mat under coasters!


I should apologize right now in that I am trying to write this on my iPad and WordPress is not as friendly to iPads as it is to PCs….

I have made a small wall hanging in braids and several baskets for the remote and candy and we purchased and hung a felted painting made by a Canadian friend/artist so the house is becoming more ours…and with that some trepidation that things will be taken care of. So far so good.

The corner of the great room is the stunner, looking out to the Pacific Ocean and the Albion River Bridge, the largest wood trestle bridge left in CA (and there is controversy around relaxing it for seismic purposes but the wood is treated with arsenic so that might save our bridge!


The window facing the view has a piece of pie shaped shag rug under 2 upholstered chairs. I don’t mind the shag but my husband uncharateristically thinks it’s outdated and has been lobbying for a rug….that story is for another blog but suffice it for now to show you the hooked whale which will be laced into the braided rug for the corner. Gary drew it and I hooked it with some velvet to add spice since it won’t be walked on.

imageIT is a grey whale spouting, not a Moby Dick whale because my husband is a stickler for accuracy and we only see grey whales from this window. The beige is the shag which will be replaced by the braided rug in a pie of pie shape…stay tuned.

But a Tisket…..I have gravitated to baskets for a long time, perhaps because they are easier to take on planes to Braid Ins, perhaps because they take less wool, perhaps because braided RUGS aren’t as popular out here in CA….anyway I have and a recent renter to our place saw this basket I made for the pens and pencils, etc and ordered 6 imagesmall baskets to give as Christmas presents. It is what I call a hybrid basket, continuous base with an enclosed end start and taper and butted sides. Advantage is it has a flat top and you can alter the rows for decoration, yet not all butted so goes faster!

I brought some combinations of wool and velvet out to the coast to get started and made this velvet bowl with a top lip out of my hand dyed stretch velvet. 1/3 yd made the basket. Thanks to basket friends (and in Jenn’s case student of years ago) for the lip idea: Jenn Kiarsis and PeggyAnn Watts.

imageAnd here is one almost finished with bought green rayon velvet and self patterning selvages. image






Another use for the baskets is as hats for those friends who are into retro. I have one such friend, Jill who is as petite as I am tall and whose hair is as short as mine is long: she covets my baskets as hats and I have made her several. I try to put velvet in as one strand as the stretch gives the hat more ‘give’….here is the latest with a velvet rosette and Jill modeling.image


9 thoughts on “A Tisket, A Tasket……

  1. Oh Dianne – love this story – and traveling the coast of Oregon a few years back, I fell in LOVE with the primitive of the northern California coastline – how wonderful that you are able to spend time there! Your friend modeling the hat is darling – fits her!

  2. Well I can see you have been busy. I have hooked a couple of things and now I’m trying to finish the second (and last) UFO I have.

  3. Peggyann here. I just love the view and the Baskets. I have yet tried the velvet.Especially, I want to make one with your dyed velvet. Please bring some with you to the Braid In. See you soon.

  4. Diane …

    What a view! Spectacular … I understand why you enjoy yourselves there.

    Your baskets, as always, are lovely. The velvet really gives them a real soft cuddly look (and I’m sure feel). Have yet to try the hybrid; although butting does give more opportunity for patterns and color changes. Too lazy I guess! 🙂

    The whale is great but what will happen to it when you’ve made your new pie rug? Look forward to seeing your creation, and hopefully it will include the already begun triangle????

    We will miss you in Methuen! Hope that you will be at Valley Forge in the Spring …

    • Hi Jenn, Will miss you too and your class looks great! The wale triangle has top billing, will be laced into the braided rug in the corner of the window looking out to ‘his brothers swimming north and south’ every year. I will post a complete story of the rug with pix of the braided part soon. Dianne

  5. Hi Diane,
    Your blue round rug looks so elegant in the living room. Lovely cool colors. Neat that Gary drew out the grey whale (realistic) and you hooked it nicely. The men in our lives have a lot to contribute too don’t they to the craft?! Like your baskets and it is neat the velvet fits in so well. I am finding the trivets/centerpiece mats done in linen or linen blend have held up well and continue to look gorgeous. Fun to braid with other materials. Patsy

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