img_2787.jpg

Over the past few years, cupcake shops have been popping up all over the U.S., even in my hometown of Pittsburgh. Once part of display cases in bakeries, now cupcakes are garnering all the attention in their very own store. I’ve read many articles about the shops, seen blogs devoted to cupcakes, and have stood in the famed Magnolia Bakery line that wraps around the corner of West 11th Street. On one of my first trips to NYC when my sister attended Pratt, she took me to Cupcake Cafe near the bus station. At the time, this was the only real rival of Magnolia, and many New Yorkers were divided about which cupcake reigned superior. (My vote’s for Magnolia in terms of taste, but for Cupcake Cafe in terms of aesthetic. Pictures respectively here and here).

My tastings of various cupcakes, however, were just that: tastings, not a fulfillment of a craving. That’s my confession: I am not a cake person. Or rather, I am not a cake-eating person. I grew up conceptualizing each of my birthday cakes, and helping my dad decorate them. My mom always baked the cake and my dad did the decorating with us, such as this Candyland cake, one of my favorites:

I constructed a little house out of legos, particularly for this cake.
1984bday8.jpg

Ah, there’s the serious little Alicia. With that nifty yellow loon shirt and blue pants with skinny white stripe, I look like a future New York hipster! The braided pigtails AND barrettes are the icing on the cake (pun! sorry!):

1984bday2.jpg

BUT, I never ate my birthday cakes. Often, my mom would make an angel food cake with chocolate icing, that I would eat, along with all the other birthday preparations. (Gosh I was difficult) The same goes with cupcakes; I like making them from scratch, such as my snickers and peanut butter cupcakes, or mint-icing chocolate cupcakes. And I usually try them, just to see what all the fuss is about, but rarely do I crave them or eat more than one. (Note: I have a raging sweet tooth, having grown up with dessert at every meal, and carrying on that tradition today in my own house).

Regardless, I jumped on the cupcake bandwagon like many others, and this extends to the craft world as well. My sister bought me a book called One Skein that is filled with “quick” knitting and crochet projects. Inside are instructions for knitted cupcakes. I made a few for my sister last year, but with my taking up of crochet, I naturally wanted to design a crochet version. The top picture in this post are the three I’ve designed and made so far. I wanted the same ridged sides that the knitted cupcakes have, and luckily, many knit stitches and patterns can be recreated in crochet.

I used a boucle yarn in this one and buttons from Ian’s Lovemonster-making supplies:

img_2791.jpg

Embroidering seed beads can take a long time, but cupcakes are much more fun with sprinkles!

img_2795.jpg

I can never remember what this kind of bead is called, but they are longer than seed beads. They are meant to look like what we in Pittsburgh call “jimmies“, which apparently are just called sprinkles everywhere else. (And, Ian pointed out this is a derogatory term). I’ve seen “jimmies” on certain brands of them in stores, NOT made in Pittsburgh, and I think the word is more specific than sprinkles. Sprinkles are the sugar crystals or little balls and they always connote roundness, while jimmies are the elongated ones and come in rainbow or chocolate. Any Pittsburgher will back me up on this!

img_2797.jpg