Crocheted Leis for a a Good Friend’s Wedding

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Now that my friend, Cherryl, received her wedding gift from me the other day, I can finally talk about it.  I’ve known Cherryl for a good 25 years; she’s a wonderful friend.  So of course, when I found out she was getting married in September, I decided to crochet some wedding leis for her and her fiance in their wedding colors, turquoise and purple.

Crocheting and Knitting Leis

I took a Basic Crochet Lei class and found all the yarns I needed for the project at Aloha Yarn (which I’ll be writing about soon, I promise).   And when I discovered how easy it is to knit a lei, I had to do up a some of those as well.  I think I got a little carried away, however.  I made five leis, three crocheted and two knitted.  And when my daughter found out how many I was making, she said, “Ma!  They only need two!”  But I was having so much fun, I just had to make more.

One of the crocheted leis I crocheted for my frined, Cherryl’s, wedding

So here they are.  This was the most difficult lei to make because it consists of three rows of crocheting.  The difficulty came, not so much in the actual crocheting, but in making sure I was placing the stitches in the right place and wasn’t twisting the ribbon around which the stitches are made.  Plus, I ran out of one of the yarns and couldn’t replace it, so this one is a little shorter than the others.  But it was well worth the time and attention it took to create; I think it turned out great.  I don’t know what those little balls are to the right of the lei.  They may be some kind of distortion caused by the flash off of the kukui nut.  I took the photo twice, and the  same thing happened each time.

crocheted leis
Another set of crocheted leis for my friend, Cherryl’s, wedding

These leis are crocheted as well and were very simple to make.  One is made of satin cord (purple) and  the other combines two yarns, an eyelash and the satin cord.  You simply crochet in the round without any increases, to form a tube of sorts.

knitted leis
These leis were very easy to knit.

Finally, these are the knitted leis.  I believe they’re made of two yarns, maybe three.  I don’t remember now.  But you just cast on nine stitches on number nine needles and knit in stockinette until the lei measures about 28 inches.  Those are cowrie shells and kukui nuts at the ends of the leis.  I searched high and low for cowrie shells and could not find them anywhere in the form I needed for the leis.  So Nanea at Aloha Yarn was kind enough to let me buy the ones that were on the display leis in her store.

How to Make Your Own Crochet and Knitted Leis

Here are some books I’ve found that will help you create your own beautiful leis:

And as I explained above, the knitted leis are REALLY easy to make!

Bradda Iz’s “Facing Future”

I also sent Cherryl a little book about leis and “Facing Future,” a CD of Hawaiian music by Iz Kamakawiwo’ole, or “Bradda Iz,” often called the “Bob Marley of Hawaii.”  Click the link to listen to samples of his music.

So, while I won’t be at the wedding back in Washington DC, I wanted to make sure Hawaii was ” in tha’ house!”

I've been crocheting for over 40 years and blogging since 2004 - two of my favorite things in the world to do besides walking the beaches of windward Oahu, Hawaii.

13 comments On Crocheted Leis for a a Good Friend’s Wedding

  • very nice leis! they can be very addicting….how’s the placemats turn out?

  • The lei are lovely…. I have crocheted several, but have never knit any. Where could I find out how to do them, living here on the mainland now?
    You did a beautiful job on them; the colors are fabulous! Mahalo nui for sharing!

  • Well, duh. I make life so complicated! There are the directions right up dea!! Sheesh.

  • Well duh… I make life so complicated. I see the directions for knitting them right up dea! Sheesh.

  • I love da Bruddah!! His voice makes me cry every time I hear it.
    Hey, we have to talk. We’re starting a 3 year plan to move to HA.

  • Thanks so much, Mokihana. I’ve missed some of your comments. Haven’t been keeping up with email like I usually do. Glad you found the directions for the knitted leis. REAL easy, yah?
    Hey Debbie!! I’m going to post about the placemats real soon. They turned out “OK.” I can say that I learned a lot doing them.

  • Myra! Looking forward to chatting with you. I sent you a pem!

  • Do you sew the knit lei together to make a seam lengthwise?

    • Hi bcappiello, there’s no sewing on the knitted leis. When you knit in stockinette stitch (knit one row, purl the next), the fabric automatically curls under at the edges, forming what looks like a tube. So you just knit in stockinette stitch for as long as you want the lei to be – in this case 28″. Hope that helps. Let me know if you have other questions.

  • Hi,

    Please send me detail instruction for making the lei with eyelash & satin cord. I have some knowledge for crochet. But it is not in depth.

    Thank you…audrey

    • Hi Audrey. I wish I had detailed instructions for that lei, but it was taught to me by the owner of my local yarn store several years ago without anything in writing. She just sat me down and told me how to do it. It was several years ago, so unfortunately, I don’t remember how to make this lei.

      There are some books on the market for making eyelash-yarn leis. Here’s one: Short url: I don’t know if the lei you want is in this book, but it’s a good place to start.

      Also, Aloha Yarn, where I learned to make the lei, has a Facebook page. You might want to send the owner, Nanea, a message to ask about instructions. Here’s the url:

      Sorry I couldn’t help you more. Hope Nanea at Aloha Yarn is able to help you.

  • Very pretty lei! Nanea is one of the nicest people ever. I randomly came across your post and had to comment since I saw you mention Aloha Yarn and we live right down the street!

    • Hey Natasha, happy to meet you! I haven’t crocheted leis in a while. Nanea IS very sweet and was very helpful when I was learning how to crochet them. I am in Kahalu’u near Valley of the Temples. I’m going to check out your Etsy store. Thanks for taking the time to comment. Aloha!

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