Crocheted Graduation Lei

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There’s a beautiful tradition of lei giving in Hawai’i for both high school and college graduations.  A crocheted graduation lei is one of many gradation lei DIY options popular with family and friends of the graduate.
red and white Crocheted Graduation Lei
If you haven’t been to a Hawaiian graduation, let me share a blast from my past with you.
a young lady wearing lots of Graduation Leis
 
This was me at my high school graduation just last year. hee hee    And let me tell you, there were many of my classmates with many, many more leis than I had on.
 
Lei giving is a beautiful and concrete way to see the aloha (love) expressed by family and friends.  And it’s uniquely Hawaiian.

Crocheted Graduation Lei

There are two girls in my daughter’s hula halau (school) that are graduating from high school this month.  Since it’s not easy to buy a flower lei so far away from Hawai’i, nor is it easy to find the flowers to make a flower lei, I’ve chosen to make a crocheted lei for each of the girls.  A yarn or ribbon lei is a common keepsake that graduates in Hawai’i  hang in their room for years.  Traditionally you use the school colors to make a graduation lei.
 
There are many crochet lei patterns to make different styles leis.  Since I am an impatient crafter, I’ll show you the easiest pattern I’ve found.

How to Make an Easy Crochet Lei

It uses the Solomon’s knot stitch. and a size G or H crochet hook. 
a crocheted chain made using Solomon's knot stich

Crocheted Lei Supplies

  • Yarn in school colors
  • Ribbon in one of the school colors
  • Crochet Hook size G or H
You start by pulling a loop about 3/4 – 1 inch long up on your hook. 
showing how to make Solomon's knot stitch
 
Yarn over and pull loop through.  Insert hook through the 3 strands of the long loop. 
showing how to make Solomon's knot stitch
 
Yarn over and pull through both loops on your hook. 
showing how to make Solomon's knot stitch
 
This will make a small knot on top of the 3-strand long loop. 
showing how to make Solomon's knot stitch
 
Continue making these loops and knots until the chain is about 10 feet long (a little shorter for shorter graduates and a little longer for taller graduates).    Using the 2nd school color, make another chain and measure its length to be the same as the first chain.
 
Measure a piece of ribbon or double strand of yarn to be approximately 40 inches long (a little shorter for shorter graduates and a little longer for taller graduates).   This will be your base ribbon
 
Tie the base ribbon to the end of both chains.  The arrow shows the base ribbon. 
a blue arrow pointing to the base ribbon of a crocheted graduation lei
 
Insert the crochet hook through the middle of the first knot on each chain.   Hook the base ribbon with the crochet hook (the arrow shows base ribbon). 
showing how to crochet 2 chains of yarn together
 
Pull the base ribbon through the two knots.  I find it easier to use my hands for this. 
showing how to crochet 2 chains of yarn together
 
Continue pulling the base ribbon through each set of knots.  Be careful to keep the color chain you started with as your first color each time.  Continue until you only have a small tail of the base ribbon remaining. 
showing how to crochet 2 chains of yarn together
 
Scrunch the two chains down to the starting knot of the base ribbon.  Then continue pulling the base ribbon through the knots and scrunching the chains down until you’ve finished with the last set of knots. 
showing how to crochet 2 chains of yarn together
 
Traditionally, when you are all done, you twist the chains around the base ribbon so that the colors spiral around the entire lei. 
showing how to crochet 2 chains of yarn together
 
I told you that I’m an impatient crafter, plus I like the way the lei looks even without the colors being spiraled so I don’t usually do this step.  I simply slide the bunched up lei around the base ribbon until it’s evenly distributed (about the same amount of puffiness all the way around).
 
a red and white crocheted graduation lei
Once you’re done adjusting the lei along the base ribbon, tie the ends together and add a ribbon to the joined area to hide it and decorate the lei. 
 
One lei is for a graduate with red and white for the school colors.  The other graduate has blue and green as her school colors. 
a blue and green crocheted graduation lei
 
I like the red and white crocheted lei better, but the blue and green lei represents that graduate’s school . 
two  Crocheted Graduation Leis
 
 I’d love to see the crocheted graduation leis you make for your favorite graduate.
5 images of different graduation leis with title text reading 9+ DIY Lei Tutorials

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5 Comments

  1. I love this idea! You really look great in your graduation picture! Thanks for sharing this at the In and Out of the Kitchen link party! I am featuring this in the Top 10 post that will go live on Monday morning!

    Cynthia at http://FeedingBig.com

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