To make an easy spiral crochet rattail lei, all you need is —
* some rattail in your choice of color
* crochet hook
Here I am using 2mm rattail. It is also available in 1 mm thickness which will make a finer stitch. I am using a J crochet hook. The smaller hook you use, the finer your stitch.
Start with a knot and pull it tight as shown in the photos above and below.
Make a chain of four stitches. You could make your lei thinner by using a chain of three stitches or fatter by starting with 5 or more.
Make a single crochet in the chain closest to the knot.
Complete the single crochet stitch.
Now you have a circle. Next make a single crochet stitch in the next chain as you go counterclockwise around the circle. It will be the chain on the other side of the knot.
Continue spiraling around counterclockwise, using single crochet stitch. Every so often tug on the tail of your lei to tighten the stitches. If you don’t do this while you are working, it may end up loose and stretch out too much once it is worn. The rattail is stiff.
Keep going until you get the desired length, 36 or more inches, (92 cm). I am making this one 42 inches, (107 cm) because it is for a graduate and needs to fit over their mortarboard. Knot the end.
You will notice you have made a long tube. The ends are open on the diagonal.
Using a smaller crochet hook makes it a easier to pull the ends through. Pull them so the longest point of the ends overlap to fill out each other.
Pull tight and tie a square knot.
Voila. Add a bow or leave it plain.
The blue and white lei was made the same way, while carrying along two colors of rattail.
© 2011 Jeanne Litt, All rights reserved.