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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.
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.
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.
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!”