Aloha Friday: Lei Day!

On the mainland May 1st is May Day. Hurrah for Spring officially introducing herself!

All over Hawaii May 1st is Lei Day, a beautiful celebration of flowers and the lei.

The feeling you experience when given your first lei is akin to what royalty must feel on coronation day. At once you stand taller, smile brighter, and see more acutely the beauty around you. They make any celebration a better celebration with their colours and fragrance, their history and handmade traditions. Leis are given to kids graduating high school or kindergarten, moms and dads on anniversaries, anyone on their birthday or moment of honor. I never greeted anyone at the airport without a lei and a kiss.

Flowers are not just beautiful reminders of the souls and beauty of the Hawaiian Islands. They are treasures when there are grey days or long winters. They are the reward for making it to Spring. Today as you celebrate May Day, or like my family, Lei Day, why not make something bright to save or share?

Leis are certainly one way of brightening your day*. Adding colour to your home or work space can be a boost as well! It can be done with little bits around you right now! I made use of old swatches (Cascade 220 in white and Shepherd’s wool in a peachy colour) by simply doodling on them with yarn**! I liked taking time to play with the yarns in a different way, learning about them apart from knitting them. I know so many of us are busy, but invest in a little bit of playtime for yourself! Experiment and try yarn in a new way, even if only for a few minutes and you may find a surprising result: You are far more creative than you thought—even if you thought you were pretty darn creative!

So re-appoint some things: old swatches, leftover bits of beautiful yarn, your stolen moments. Together this trio can be powerfully inspiring!

On the note of inspiration, I wanted to share the story behind the Hawaiian flora and fauna colours from Cate. I enjoyed reading this short memory of time she spent in Hawaii.

Hoping you make today extra special, no matter what you call it or where you are! But wherever today finds you, i hope the sun is shining on you!


*I found a tutorial on a beautiful lei to make either by hand or sewing machine here!

** The gorgeous colour you see here is Anthurium on Helix and Penumbra bases. Anthurium is just one of the Hawaiian flora and fauna colour pallet new this spring from Infinite Twist. I can’t wait to share the Bougainvillea story with you… (you can see teasers of a few of the new colours in this collection here!}

patterns, photos

little things


they seem small


and sometimes are overlooked

menehune shawl pattern

if you miss this little pattern you may miss a lot

a fun knit

a stylish addition to your wardrobe

an inexpensive gift

either to knit as a gift or to share the pattern with another!


a menehune price

big kahuna in every other way!

menehune breeze

Friday Night's Free Pattern, patterns


Aloha Friend!

This is the first in a new series here on the blog: Friday Night’s Free Pattern! Many of you will wake up to it on Saturday morning, but for you late birds YOU will see it first! {Be sure to subscribe so you don’t miss the patterns yet to come! Pop over to the sidebar to subscribe!)

The idea is to share a free pattern once a month here with you. The ultimate goal of this pattern is for you to create something simply for major wardrobe impact. I have a few goals for each pattern:

  • It will be a relatively small fast knit (so no sweaters…but there is a shrug due out in December!)
  • It is an accessory or outfit enhancement of some sort
  • It can easily be repeated…more importantly you will want to repeat it
  • knitters can make this for their own use, as gifts, or to sell…you read that right: put them in your etsy shoppe if you want!
  • a wide variety of skills used, but all easy enough to have an adventurous knitter feel able to do

So those were the standards… and now here is what met those standards!

photo 1


Lehua is said to be the sacred flower of Goddess Pele and Pele to me screams red (something to do with being a volcano goddess I suppose).  Knit up Lehua and tie her around your neck, in your hair, draped, whatever! Wear it and feel like a total hottie (you know you are…and no, I don’t care if you are 68 years old, you can be a smoking’ hot knitter at any age!) Hottie => Red => Pele => Lehua => this little scarfette! See how I got there?

Materials Used:

TilliTomas Plie in American Beauty ∞ Needles US 6 ∞ Scissors & Tapestry Needle (I also listened to my most amazing playlist as I knit and I did have wasabi covered peas on hand, but both are optional)

Quick note here: TilliTomas Plie is silk and wonderful and filled with loads of vibrant shades of red. It is a sturdy yarn with this write up:

Fiber Content: 100% Natural Spun Silk
50g Skein/Yardage: 120 yds.
18 Stitches & 24 rows to 4″/No. 7 Needles
Care: Hand Wash & Dry Flat or Dry Clean.

One skein can make 2 Lehua. My FO was 25 grams, so 60 yards.

Gauge is always important no matter the size of what you are knitting, but for Lehua stitch count is more important than row. This pattern is 11 stitches every 2 inches on size 6 for side pieces in garter. The idea is to knit at a bit tighter gauge than intended (as you can see from the above write up on the yarn)


Stitch Pattern:

Row 1 (Wrong Side): *Knit 1, Slip 1*  Repeat * * until last stitch, K1

Row 2 (Right Side): Knit all stitches

Notes: When slipping stitches, do so as if to knit, leaving yarn in the back of work.

Make 2 :Using long tail method, cast on 73 sts. Work Rows 1 and 2 twice (4 rows). Next 4 rows, Knit all sts. Work Rows 1 and 2 of pattern twice (4 rows)

Next Row (WS): *K1, yarn over twice* Repeat * * until last stitch, K 1

Next Row (RS): *Knit 1, drop the 2 yarn overs*  Repeat * * until last stitch, K1

Work Row 1 and 2 of pattern once more. Bind off all stitches loosely. (remember to repeat all the above once more for two patterned pieces of Lehua Scarfette)

photo 2

photo 3

Orient one scarfette piece as shown. Pick up 9 stitches from short side of piece.

Row 1(WS): K to last stitch, yarn over, K1

Row 2 (RS): Knit 1, drop yarn over, knit to end

Work rows 1 & 2 thirty times, or longer to allow the garter stitch to cover 1/2 of your neck. Bind off.

Sew the 2nd piece of scarfette to CO edge of garter to mirror the opposite side.

Soak and block. When blocking, open up all dropped yarn overs on all pieces.

Interested in seeing this worn in a few ways? Well…we are headed to the beach for a photoshoot tomorrow, but for now there is this video where I show a few ways…


Uncategorized, words

Menehune: Small Adds Up!

Aloha Friends!

Happy Friday to All! I hope your last workday of the week {for many} is productive and encouraging. We have the opportunity each day to do small things that can make a huge impact. You may not see a small smile and cheerful “Good Day!” as much, but to the recipient of that…well, maybe their ears haven’t heard a word and a smile to spur them on in a long time. Holding the door for 3, 4, 5, even 6 folks to go ahead of you isn’t a big deal, after all it sets you back what? 45 seconds? But to the person with their hands full {or arms sore} your gesture was as cold water to a parched throat.

Small pieces add up! Grabbing 10 minutes a day to knit yields over n each week! Picking up three pieces of trash on your way out of the bookstore is three fewer bits of trash! Writing that thank you card and handing it to the cashier as you leave the grocery is a good idea. All of us doing one nice thing would add up to a bunch of little nice things!

It is like the Menehune… the small people of legends in Hawaii. Overnight they built the most beautiful fishpond! I remember kayaking with the family through there and hearing the story for the first time. It went something like this:

The Alekoko Fishpond is near Nawiliwili Harbor and can be viewed from an overlook on Hulemalu Road, which was just up the road from where I lived once upon a time…
Legend has it the fishpond was built overnight by Menehune, Hawaii’s mischievous little people who were incredible engineers! Menehune aren’t seen very often, in fact they generally stick to the deep forest hidden away from the bigger folk. The Alekoko Pond was built by the Menehune overnight legend says by working together, each doing a small important part. They managed this amazing task by lining up for 25 miles, passing stones hand-to-hand to build the pond, which is incredibly beautiful!
Menehune are small but impact Kauai in a huge way…

That little excerpt is pulled from the Menehune Shawl pattern page on Ravelry. It is a free Knit With Me activity we are doing together on the podcast. Part 1 and Part 2 are up with knitters plugging along . I share the directions and visuals in bites, with a new segment and variations to post this weekend. You can knit Menehune this way gratis! If you want to wait just a bit longer you can purchase the written instructions in the more traditional way 29 August 2014.

Quick details for Menehune Shawl: {men-ah-hune-ā}

I recommend HIGHLY ENTHUSIASTICALLY UNASHAMEDLY recommend =) CopperCorgi Stormy Marsh on her sock base. The colour is at once deep and moody with pops of brighter spots that lighten the mood. (If you want to see a better look in the sidebar menu there is a button for CopperCorgi. The yarn in that photo is Stormy Marsh. For better views click that button and head over to see Sarah’s photography skills 😉

Gauge   18 stitches and 38 rows = 4 inches in Gauge: 18 sts by 38 rows in garter after soaking and blocking

Needle size   US 6 – 4.0 mm
Yardage  420 – 450 yards (384 – 411 m)
Sizes available  One size with variations
I share the variations of the shawl for those who are wanting to knit with a different yarn from stash. They may have less yardage, different weight, want to create a different size. There have been lots of interesting alterations. I share some hints and suggestions, but encourage you to be flexible and patient with yourself if you decide to change Menehune. Altering a pattern in stitch count, yarn weight, or hosts of other things takes an adventurous spirit as well as creative ownership! You should be ready and prepared to head out in to uncharted territory…and those sometimes reveal spectacular views not seen by many!
 I look forward to seeing you when we chat this weekend! I took you somewhere simply incredible. We will add more to our shawl and I will share a few things I have been up to…and expect you to be ready to share your things as well!
Before you click out of this blog, be sure to re-read the different ways You can make a simple gesture go a long way today…and then do one! In the comments below be sure to share with us some simple thing you think might be a great effective kindness to do! The best ideas are sometimes the simplest!