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.

Another Christmas Gift Finished

I managed to finish another Christmas gift last week. Once again, it's for my niece.

Even though my niece is too young for these toys (she's about six months old), my mother broke out the riding toys she saved from my sister when she was a kid back in the early 80's. They had been wrapped up and left in the garage for years, so they were still in almost perfect shape.

One is a roller skate and the other is little Kawasaki motorcycle. The red roller skate is cute. It looks like a low cut Converse. The motorcycle is a little pedal powered toy.

It's funny because my niece couldn't even sit up on her own when these pictures were taken (a few months ago) so my mom had to hold her up. But when I was talking to my sister, she's laughing hysterically and told me that her daughter needed a helmet for her motorcycle and she wanted me to crochet one for her. So, guess what my niece is getting for Christmas?

I decided to go for a half-helmet look here, with flames and "snaps" for a non-existent face shield. Since any good rider wants his/her helmet to match the bike, I decided to go with a bright orange color. It's the same orange as the University of Virginia hat from last year. It's Red Heart Super Saver in Pumpkin (#0254). The red flames (yep, they actually were made to be asymmetrical) and the grey straps were just leftover from other projects as well, but I don't even know what kind of yarn they are anymore.

You'll have to excuse the crappy photos...I don't have anything in the house small enough to double for my niece's head right now.

I have a feeling when Christmas comes and this gets unwrapped, there will be screams of laughter from my sister and I might get a picture of my niece wearing it, texted over immediately. :) Gotta love that in cell phones!!

I Need To Move On From Zombies

But I got this stuck in my head from thinking about a post from a few days ago. This is what I came up with.

Oh my god
Becky, look at that zomb'
Its so old
He looks like one of those Thriller dancers
Who understands those dancers
They only dance with him because he looks like a total extra
I mean that zombie
He is just so oozy
He looks like he may have drowned
He's just out there
I mean, he's gross
Look, he's just so DEAD

I like old zombies and I can not lie
You other fans can't deny
That when a zomb walks in with an itty bitty wound
And it gets right up in your face
You get sprung
Wanna pull up tough
Cuz you notice that zomb' was fresh
Deep in the dirt he's wearing
I'm hooked and I can't stop staring
Oh, baby I wanna get from ya
But take your picture.
My homegirls tried to warn me
But that wound you got
Make me so nosey!
Ooh, lump of ripped skin...
You say you wanna get in my house
Well, lose me, 'cuse me cuz your brain's turned that average soupy.

I've seen them staggerin',
To hell with them dancin',
He's damp, wet, rottin' like my dog's dead vet.
I'm tired of horror movies
Saying other monsters are the thing.
Take the average live chick and ask her that
She gotta pack a baseball bat.

So Fellas (yeah) Fellas (yeah)
Has your zombie got the look? (hell yeah)
Well shake it, shake it, shake it, shake it, shake that rotten ass,
Baby's turned zomb'!
(Sweet face with a rotten booty)

I like'em flat and flacid
And when I'm throwin a gig
I just can't help myself
They're actin like animals.
Now that's my scandal

I wanna get back home
And cock UH, double cock UH UH
I ain't talkin bout Nerf guns
Cuz handguns weren't meant to be toys
I wan' em real thick and juicy
So find that juicy brain
Amy Lynn's in trouble
Beggin for a piece of that ammo.
So I'm lookin' at horror movies
Knockin those zombies staggerin' like death.
You can have them zombies.
I'll keep my men like George Ro.

A word to the dead soul sistas
I don't wanna get with ya
But I'll cuss and kill ya.
But I gotta be straight when I say I wanna --
Til the break of dawn,
Baby, I got it goin on.
Alot of people won't like this song,
Cuz them punks are too scared to kill it.
But I'd rather stay and play,
Cuz it ain't wrong and I'm strong
And I'm down to get the action on.

So gents (yeah), ladies (yeah)
Do you got your killing accessories? (yeah)
Then turn around
Stick that gun out
Even dead boys got to shout
Baby's turned zomb'!
(Sweet face with a rotten booty)

Yeah baby
When it comes to zombies
Fangoria ain't got nothin to do with my selection
Blue, droolin', hungry, grabbin'
Only if he's at the mall.

So your girlfriend throws a star
Playin like a ninja won't get her far.
But zombie Bruce Lee ain't got moves to keep you livin'.
My baseball bat don't want none unless you've got zomb', hon.
You can do side shots or from the hip, but please don't lose that gun.
Some heroes wanna play that hard role
And tell you that the zomb' ain't gold
So they toss it and leave it
And I pull up quick to re-kill it.

So World War Z says you're dead.
Thank God I'm down with lead.
Cuz your brain is gone but your arms are grabbin'
And I'm thinkin bout stickin'
A couple of slugs in your cranium.
You aint it, Miss Thing.
Give me a zomb' sista, I can't resist her.
Red worms and maggots didn't miss her.
Some knuckleheads almost missed,
Cuz their eyes were crossed.
They had game but they chose to avoid 'em
And pulled up quick to run from 'em.

So ladies if the zombie is fresh,
And you wanna send it back to hell,
Dial 1-900-AMYKILS and kick them nasty butts.
Baby's turned zomb'
Baby's turned zomb'
Little in tha head but he got much dead.
Little in tha head but he got much dead.
Little in tha head but he got much dead.
Little in tha head but he got much dead.