Saturday, November 13, 2010

Cupcakes Aren't As Easy As Pie

I like to lurk on Craftster and I've been seeing more of the crocheted cupcake hats on there. I thought they would be super cute and easy for Christmas gifts for my three nieces.

Ummm, yeah on the cute, but not so much for the easy.

I do have to admit that part of this was my own fault. The cupcakes aren't worked as similarly as other hats where there's some wiggle room. This was the pattern I tried. Unfortunately, I didn't save the website that it came from so I can't give credit where credit is due. My  notes are in italics.

What I did was measure my nieces head around. Then I made a chain as tall as i wanted the bottom to be. Then single crochet back loop only (blo) until it was long enough around, stopping just short of an exact measurement as blo tends to be somewhat stretchy. Sc the two ends together.

This part was super easy. If you've made any socks or mittens with ribbed cuffs, you'd have this part down pat. However, I didn't keep track of how many rows I did. That's the important part here.

Next make the top: chain 3 join into ring, 2 chains and then hdc 10 inside ring. Don't join rounds, just mark first stitch of each round, as this is done in a spiral. Do 2 hdc blo in each stitch around second round. Equaling 20 sts **(It was pointed out to me on ravelry "For the pattern, it’s not really BLO hdc. .It’s more like, the loop behind the back loop. That’s what make the swirly design on the top" I hope that this is understood. I didn't realize my instructions didn't reflect properly the design (thanks craftypants!))**  3rd round is hdc blo 1st st, 2 hdc blo next 1 around. The rest of the formula works like this:

4th round 1 hdc blo in next 2 st, 2 hdc blo in next 1.
5th round 1 hdc blo in next 3 st, 2 hdc blo in next 1.
6th round 1 hdc blo in next 4 st, 2 hdc blo in next 1.
7th round 1 hdc blo in next 5 st, 2 hdc blo in next 1.
8th round 1 hdc blo in next 6 st, 2 hdc blo in next 1.
9th round 1 hdc blo in next 7 st, 2 hdc blo in next 1.

I really didn't need to do more than 8 or 9 rows for an estimated size on a child's size hat. 

and so on, adding one more stitch to the single hdcs you do, and ending with 2 in next one st. The total number of sts in one repeat always equals the round you are on, as in round 6, there are 1 hdc in next 4 stitches, and 2 in next one 1+1+1+1+2=6.

The side facing you will be the outside of the frosting part.

Follow formula until the top is slightly bigger around and slightly longer than it needs to be. Do not fasten off yet.

The important part here is to keep track of how many sc you work around in the last round. I didn't do that, because God forbid I actually read a pattern all the way through before starting it! :) I think I've learned my lesson though.

The next part is somewhat tricky: connecting the two pieces. As the top and bottom are made separately and customized, they will not be the same number of stitches, so we need to do some simple math. As an example, say my bottom is 40 rows long, and my top is 66 stitches around, take the larger number and divide it by the smaller number, in this case 66/40=1.65. So roughly every 11/2-2 stitches we need to sc2tog. How you do this does not need to be exact, just as long as it's mostly even all the way around.

To make the shell border, in the same sts that you just joined the two pieces together, *sc in st dc in same st, then dc in next st and sc in same st. Continue from * around until finished.

Even if you try to eyeball this for sizing, it's a hard thing to do. I tried this hat twice without keeping track of the size of the pieces. I had started in kind of an assembly line format: I made 2 "cake" bands in 2 different sizes, and then did the 2 frosting pieces in different lengths (2 different aged nieces).
Use the same string you use to finish up your pom-pom to sew it to the top of your hat. How you attach, and what you use for sprinkles is up to you.

I still think this was a super cute hat but I don't think I'm going to try it again. I actually prefer a little bit more freeform style in hats when I'm working from someone else's pattern. I'm going to work on other hats for Christmas.

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