An alternative to real Hawaiian flower leis is the ribbon version, minus alas the delicious smell :-). These are clearly derived from Victorian ribbon work, and probably part of the wholesale missionary import of needlework in the 19th century (idle hands are the devil's work?). As for instance in the case the Hawaiian applique quilts, the originals have been reworked into a thoroughly local version by talented craftwomen, and are now an art form in their own right.
We knew that Hawaii makes fast and furious consumption of Fizz to make leis, peaking tremendously around graduation season. We were lucky to get a hold of a great new book Making Ribbon Leis and Other Gifts of Aloha by Coryn Tanaka and May Masaki, a mother and daughter team who're great consumers of Fizz and teach many classes in lei making. Lovely stuff. And one can see how Fizz is perfect, the right length and density, to replace the long and tedious process of fringing ribbon to get the pistil effect...
Unfortunately even that wasn't simple enough for us :-). So here is our own version, simply crocheted... A savvy fiber person might be able to detect the difference at close range, but we guarantee that at a few paces this one is indistinguishable, and in any case everyone will be delighted with the results.
Fat 'flower' part: 20"long (50cm), 1 ½" diameter (3cm).
Ends to tie: 12" long (30cm).
Working pattern sc with single Mikado ribbon, 10 st/3 inches (7cm). Don't stress, exact size is not important.
US: Chain st(ch). Slip st (sl st). Single crochet (sc).
Britain: Chain st(ch). Single crochet (sl st). Double crochet (sc).
First published: 29 jul 03
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