Leaving a 3” tail, attach your strands of yarn onto the lei needle hook. String all of the beads onto the lei needle and down onto the yarn.
Remove the yarn with the beads from the lei needle. Follow the Basic Straw Lei making instruction. For this version you will spread the beads throughout the length of the yarn. Adding beads evenly as you wrap the yarn around the straw.
Take the floral wire and make a loop at one end. Slip one end of the grosgrain ribbon into the loop and twist to hold. To feed the ribbon through the straw, slide the wire up through the straw. Remove the ribbon from the wire. Pull the ribbon about 1 ½” out of the top of the straw and tape or clip this end to the straw. The rest of grosgrain ribbon will be coming out at the bottom of the straw; this is your base line ribbon. At the other end of the grosgrain ribbon, tie a loose knot about 12” from the end to help keep yarn from slipping off the base line while you are making the lei.
Leaving a 3” tail, take the end of the yarn and tie to the bottom of the straw where the base line ribbon is coming out. NOTE: If you are using more than one type of yarn, hold all of the yarns together and tie all of the ends to the bottom of the straw, leaving the 3” tails.
Hold the straw in one hand and hold the yarn in your other hand. The beads should all be strung on the yarn already. You will push beads up onto the yarn as you wrap the yarn around the straw. Wrap the yarn around the straw in a winding motion and be sure to keep an even tension. Add beads evenly throughout the lei as you wrap the yarn around the straw. Slowly, slide the yarn off of the straw and onto the grosgrain base ribbon. Sometimes it is better to pull the straw upwards to get the yarn onto the base line.
Important Note: Always keep some of the wrapped yarn on the straw until you are done with your lei to prevent any uneven gaps in your lei.
Continue wrapping and sliding the yarn onto the base line all the way down to the knot in the base line until you reach about 2” from the bottom of the straw. Slide all of the yarn off of the straw and knot the yarn securely to the base line. Trim off excess yarn.
Remove the tape/clip from the end of the base line ribbon and slide the ribbon out of the straw. Spread the yarn evenly throughout the lei so that there is an even thickness and there is 12” of the base line ribbon on both ends. Knot the beginning of the lei securely and trim off the tails.
Slip a kukui nut onto each end of the lei and knot the grosgrain ribbon to secure. Trim the ends of the ribbon base line at an angle to prevent fraying. Tie the 12” ends of the main line together into a bow to wear the lei.
© 2008 Ben Franklin
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