Aroha|Aloha KAL, Split chapter, pt. 1

Aroha|Aloha Mauna Hat tester

March 4, 2021, part-way through a row of 2×2 ribbing … Thoughts … must. write. down.

It was the last week of February with March on it’s way, the sun was lingering significantly longer each day, the rain was tapering off, the winter coat was exchanged for a winter jacket, and a loud-ish voice in my head was pleading with me to make a commitment to be more demonstratively crafty and constructive come March 1. Would I take on yet another 12 weeks of The Artist Way? Do I want to devise my own 30-day program aimed at my audience of one? What about the Green KAL mentioned by Dana Johnson on her blog or the Drunk Knitter’s mystery shawl/read-along/knit-along–both of which had potential except for very little green yarn in my stash or the need to purchase a mystery pattern. Is another 12 weeks of The Artist Way really what I want and/or need now? What to do?


The answer came from an unexpected place—not quite at the 11th hour (CET) but close—via an email dated February 28 from Françoise Danoy and Leila Raven’s Aroha|Aloha project announcing a KAL. Hmm,  color my interest piqued … The fact I’ve admired Ms Danoy’s journey as a creative force connecting to her Maori ancestry via knitting, which in turn lead me to discover the talents of Leila Raven whose own journey of claiming her Hawaiian DNA and transferring that to knitting resonated with my unwavering love of the Big Island, all aligned and made my March commitment to creative pursuits clear. Oh, and in my small queue of neglected knitting pattern PDFs (which includes an Aroha shawl) sat a Mauna Hat, so team Aroha|Aloha for the win.

Never mind I had zero knowledge of Latvian Braids or next-to-zero experience with color work as of March 1, but thankfully March is a long month.

With Turkish yarn purchased in Old Town Sarajevo (frogged from my last UFO crocheted scarf), an eagerness to be more creatively present in March, an appreciation of knitting as a conduit to a spirit of Aloha from over here on the shores of the “Jadransko more” (Bosnia-Herzegovina and Croatia being true to my own genealogical journey and how it’s framed my creative self over the years), and connection to a universe of makers bigger than myself, I’ll proceed forward in the rhythm of the K2, P2 ribbing I’ve just interrupted and knit on …

Masks Made by Lulu: Feb 19, 2021 edition


The conundrum was this—do I post images of the latest and greatest mask creations knowing there is a universe of improvements to make on my photography “skills”, or do I save the photos and learn to become an incrementally better photographer? The first option comes with a fair amount of humiliation knowing these masks are a labor of love and actually look much better in real life but option 2 could actually take a decade or longer, so there’s that. Part of the inspiration for maintaining a blog is to overcome a lifetime of procrastination through creative expression and I’ve always had more than enough excuses to not follow through. This is my internets “work in progress space”, I suppose.

Below are a few of the latest endeavors using a “darted” mask style reconfigured into three panels instead of the one or two paneled versions graciously shared online. The initial goal behind a three-panel design was how to best use recycled (up-cycled, reclaimed) denim and maintain enough breathability in a fully-lined face mask. (Also, how to best incorporate decorative details such as pom poms and rick rack …) 

The “3 Pt. Dart” design also inspires more whimsy and variety in fabric combinations which for a life-long fabric-hoarder like myself, living in a land without the likes of Robert Kaufman or Amy Butler fabrics, Stonemountain and Daughter or Poppy Fabrics, or even a Joann store, helps keep the creative muse alive.