How big is that pie?

Dianne here: Those of you who know me or read this blog know that Gary and I are fortunate to have bought an investment property on the coast of Northern California a few years ago, having sold an ‘as is’ inherited property fairly near Silicon Valley (location, location, location is right!). We bought it fully furnished and have made it a vacation rental which we try to visit monthly. Although the furnishings were beautiful and well maintained, they were not all my taste, which in one way made turning it into a vacation rental was easier because I didn’t feel that invested in the furnishings if there was minor damage from renters.

But I have slowly made it more mine, mainly by adding my own rugs, etc. Here was the great room carpet and the hit and miss I made to replace it:

Here are strip rugs I braided to replace rattan entry rugs:

Well, the view from the corner of the great room is terrific, that of the largest wood trestle bridge in CA, there are two maroon chairs right in the corner IMG_0586 (1).JPG and they sit on a beige shag rug that I have never minded but has always bothered Gary. “Can’t you make one to replace it?”, he would say when we would go to the coast, it’s so dated being shag. img_0633-2I said it is a quarter of a pie shape, that won’t work for braiding, maybe for hooking but ?why. He kept up and was so supportive of the idea I said, well let’s measure it:


My good friend and fellow blogger, Christine visited last February and although she didn’t come to the coast, we talked about the rug shape. A whiz at many things, not pieleast of all her Illustrator computer program skills, Christine turned Gary’s idea into reality.

When my dad died in late February she spurred me on by sending me several yards of Dorr maroon wool (yum) img_0808and about the same time a weaver/knitter friend gifted me with large amounts of wool she had accumulated. Because the hit and miss is close to the spot where this ‘pie’ would go, I decided to use the same fabrics for the braiding, tho I had to replace several times as I ran out.

We calculated that I needed to braid a 44″ diameter round for the center so I got busy and took it to the Valley Forge Braid In in April and together with Kris McDermet we used masking tape to determine where the next rows would go to make the tip for the corner near the window and the curved end of the rug toward the hit and miss. We figured I would have either 2 very large ‘holes’ to fill plus the tip triangle which Gary had already decided would be a hooked whale OR 7 smaller holes and two braided rounds. Because of Kris’ instruction over the years about finishing hooking and attaching braiding, I decided I could do that and chose the latter option. After braiding the small rounds, I pinned and laced them then traced the triangles onto rug warp and hooked them.



Here is the hooked whale as sketched by Gary, a humpback whale which is what we see from the window as they make their way to and from Mexico. I used velvet to outline the whale and to add some sparkle. See the spout?

Here you can see the areas that were left when I finished the braiding. Since they were not going to show much under the chairs, I decided to hook without a design which was very freeing…I tried to use the same 4-5 wools in all the hooking and rebraided the small rounds with the same wool when I knew I would have enough, but note one round has more maroon rows than the other because I ran out of a critical blue wool!  Don’t tell!






Here is the rug in place with the chairs. Although there are things I might do differently, I am pretty pleased with it and glad to get it off my project table and on the floor!  There is another shag rug in the second bedroom, a rectangle, but I am not reminding him of that….although an oval might work!


13 thoughts on “How big is that pie?

  1. Oh WOW Dianne!! Your rugs are beautiful!! and talent is amazing!! You’re making it very hard for your guests to look out the window!!

  2. I agree with Jackie – just wow! If ever I could be half as good as you I would be impressed with myself. And of course, so happy you are doing this blog!

  3. What a fabulous creation. Diane! Stunning … It’s great that Gary was so supportive and contributed to the rug. Looks to me like your “rental” is truly coming to be a big part of yourselves.

    After that project, an oval for the bedroom sounds perfect!

  4. Earlier I admired the natural whale but must say the triangle fill-ins are equally well designed. Like the plan you gals came up with and the finished result!

  5. HI DIANE…I am so terribly impressed. It goes to show how you can accomplish almost anything when you know how to both braid and hook, and then put them together Beautiful work! Nan

  6. It was so nice to see your rug finished. It looks wonderful on the floor and such a beautiful addition to your home away from home.

  7. How wonderfully unique. Great job and isn’t it fun to do something that you are experimenting with, especially when it works out. Really nice work.


Comments are closed.