cuexperiments

My hands actually became numb as I was so determined to finish this experiment tonight. It got to the point where there was only rows left (more than I thought) & I just couldn’t stop myself! Probably the fastest design experiment I’ve completed all year+.

Today, I made shorts.
Tonight, I’ll be sleeping in them… They’re so comfy!
Tomorrow, my muscles might hate me. These hands got a good workout today.

Goodnight.

-Cory U of CUExperiments

FRIDAY FRENZY | etsy find of the day 3 | 8.12.11

floral vine accessory (set of 3) by cuexperiments

lovin’ the hippy vibe of this trio of accessories! the carefully crocheted loops are crafted to appear like flowering vines that can be wrapped around your head, neck or wrist for a customized look. you can even request custom-colored flowers! WANT.

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It’s Heart-Shaped! 

Blog Update - #100DaysofCreativeExperiments for #The100DayProject - Day 88

It’s hard for me to comprehend that I’ve been working on the same project for over 80 days now. Starting in April & now into July, before the end of this month this project will be complete. With only 12 more days to go, this experiment is coming to a close & I’m hoping I’ll also come to a conclusion of what the final piece will be. 

After completing a purple flower today at the top peak for Day 88, I laid down the piece & couldn’t believe my eyes! Laying out the experiment to take a few images, I discovered the outline of a heart had magically appeared. I’ve been so focused on filling in the stray gaps on the edged flowers recently but I did not take any notice to any shape before. I’m not sure if I was making this shape subconsciously or if it’s just been a serendipitous moment, but I’m truly enjoying the idea of keeping it as a heart now. My heart & soul has been put into this experiment & now it’s more evidently clear. It’s so bizarre to see that from Day 82 (the last time I took a full product picture) to just six days later that such a distinct shape would manifest. Guess I now know one thing for certain, the end shape will be made into a heart. I’m sure of it. 

Along with documenting through Instagram each & every day, I’ve been tracking my time as well. As of now, 81 hours & 45 minutes have gone into this experiment & it’s 71cm/28″ x 52cm/21.5″ in size. The last time I made note was on Day 39 when I had done 50 hours of work to a much smaller design. One thing that’s surprised me through this growth is that I’m still using my first skein of yarn for every colour. You can see that the white ball is almost at it’s end, but the colours seem to have been pretty evenly distributed throughout. 

It overwhelms me to think that almost an hour of work has gone into every day. I’ve had arthritic pains, busy days, sick days & travel days through all this time & I’ve still kept committed throughout. Even so, I’m kind of excited to have this all come to an end. Before this point in time, it’s felt like the never-ending experiment & I’ll be happy to celebrate on the very last bloom that’s coming up very soon.

Here are a few moments from the last chunk of time, showcased recently on Instagram:

Day 49 - It’s been amazing getting bloom ideas from others & even names of new flowers, like the Phlox Coral Eye.


Day 62 - Pillows & cushions have been my saviour to creating flat work without having to sit at a table all the time.


Day 66 - Pain days & exhaustion didn’t stop me from crocheting in the comfort of my own bed.


Day 79 - This was the first night that I *almost* forgot to add to the experiment. I couldn’t believe after almost eighty days of creating I almost forgot!


Day 86 - I had dreams during the first few days that this would become a blanket. This is close to what that would look like if I continued to have it grow more & more & more.


Stayed tuned for photos of the end product & my final decisions on what it will become. As you know, I’ve had no idea what I’d turn this experiment into & it’s stayed a mystery to even me for most of this time. Twelve more days to go! It’s just like Christmas! xo

-Cory U


P.S. To follow my progress, it’s best to follow my daily feeds (Twitter, Instagram & Facebook) below. xo

Read More: Joining #The100DayProject - Day 1 & Update on #100DaysofCreativeExperiments for #The100DayProject - Day 13 & In Full Bloom: Blog Update - Day 40 - 9 Feeds to Follow From #The100DayProject: Day 50


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The Finale! A Heart In Bloom - By Cory U of CUExperiments

Blog Update - #100DaysofCreativeExperiments for #The100DayProject - Day 100

It took 8 balls of yarn, over 150 crocheted blooms, 93+ hours of work, & 100 days to complete the experiment that you see before you. Adding my own spin to the increasingly popular #The100DayProject, I decided to make my project grow day by day. Starting with one bloom, each day I crocheted a little more. The blooms developed over time as I got feedback from others & became more comfortable with the concept myself. It travelled with me on weekends away & each night before I went to bed I made sure that a new piece was always added to the puzzle. No pattern was set out from the start & only rough doodles helped me keep track of my favourite flowers as time went on. It tested my commitment, endurance, creativity & logic; it was the ultimate experiment for me so far.

This experiment ended a month ago on July 14, 2015, but I wanted to take some time to breathe, let the project sink in, & let myself really process what I loved, didn’t, & will miss most from such an experience. Here’s some things that I’ve thought about:

- Growing up, I was never one to completely finish a personal project. I’d get super close & leave just a little bit more for a day that would never come. A lot has changed since then, but I didn’t know how I’d react working on one thing for 100 days straight. Thankfully, my determination kicked in & I kept up the work even when I had friends tell me to just skip it for a night & go straight to bed. (Mind you, these were times when it was already 2am.) Once I got going I didn’t skip a night, even if that meant crocheting after a night on the town or after an evening of hang-outs with friends. I crocheted on trains, in beds, at dinner tables & in front of movies every single night.

Holding my weapon of choice; a golden crochet hook. 

- I LOVED not knowing what I was doing. From start to finish I let the yarn & my crochet hook do the talking. It wasn’t until the last few days that I noticed it took on a shape of it’s own & became a heart. It was meant to be; A Heart in Bloom.

Holding A Heart in Bloom. Sized at 22.5″/57cm tall & 29″/74cm wide.

- I couldn’t focus on other crochet designs. Having one project take up almost an hour each day for 100 days took a lot of creative mental power out of me. I tried to create more new experiments at the time, but I didn’t want to lose focus on one or the other. I stuck to working on patterns I already had written over designing two completely different experiments at the same time.

Imagining it as a wall hanging. 

- I already miss the community. There’s a few great artists I follow & chat with now because of this project on Instagram, but the collective mentality is gone. It was great motivating & having motivation from others during that time.

Made from Knit Picks Comfy Sport Yarndurable & soft pima cotton/acrylic fibres.

- 100 days is a long time to work on one experiment. I’m not used to pacing through 100 days. I’m used to designing something new in a weekend or few weeks at full force. I like my natural speed of go-go-go much more than the pace of 100 days.

If it was bigger, it’d be a blanket… It would also be another 100+ days of work.

- I’m keeping it! For a while I went back & forth debating what I’d do with it once it was done. At one point I even thought about auctioning it off. Nope. This experiment represents a very strange transitional time in my life & I’m going to keep it to remind myself of that time. Even through the strangest days, there was always a bloom to look forward to creating & a heart to be fulfilled in the end. xo

Thinking: ‘There’s still a whole other set of this yarn leftover in my yarn stash…’

I truly enjoyed participating & learning about myself through this very creative project. If you’re looking for something challenging to work on, I completely recommend trying something as enduring as this yourself. It was a uniquely rewarding experience. 

On a side note: I overbought on yarn just to be on the safe side for this experiment & have debated making miniatures of A Heart in Bloom. Let me know your thoughts/if you’d be interested in something like that.

-Cory U


Read More: Joining #The100DayProject - Day 1 & Update on #100DaysofCreativeExperiments for #The100DayProject - Day 13 & In Full Bloom: Blog Update - Day 40 - 9 Feeds to Follow From #The100DayProject: Day 50 - It’s Heart-Shaped! - Day 88


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Hey there, Shorties. 

It took some time, but I finally got these crochet Shorties available in three neutral colours at CUExperiments on etsy. With the speed of my Arthritic hands & the amount of rows I have to stitch, these Shorties are pretty well a solid days work. Totally worth it though, as I practically live out of my own pair since I first finished them. I think they’ve become my favourite experiment to date.

Lounge in, sleep in, or wear them to the beach in.

-Cory U

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Love You Heart Scarf by CUExperiments


During the snow day on Monday, the sun was shining so perfectly through my windows for a mini photo shoot. Must have been the rays reflecting off the snow because I haven’t had luck with the sunshine in weeks! Today I posted a few more Love You Heart Scarves (a little late) but I’m sure there’s some last minute shoppers out there. There’s a whole lotta love in the shop right now.

Find this & more at CUExperiments on etsy.

-Cory U


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Pen-pal DIY Swap - The Clutch - Swap #1

I met Amreeta of The Curly Needle blog through HCBN. We quickly became e-mail pen-pals connecting through a common interest in handmade makes & DIYS among other similar likes. For months we discussed doing a crafty swap of sorts but waited until the best idea came to mind. Our decision got narrowed down to remaking the common everyday tote bag into a clutch, with each of us creating our own spin on the idea. I sent her totes to reuse from previous events & shopping trips that I’ve received, while she sent me a London-themed tote. Along with it, we packed a few extra supplies & instructions for the other to get started. 

Reuse & Recycle. Totes from various events, Canadian treats, & fixings sent to Amreeta.

A London-themed package received from Amreeta.

Once I received the pattern & the tote from Amreeta, I knew I wanted to break up the print. A clutch using the entire print would’ve been far too big & clunky in the end. I played with folding & visualized a few variations before cutting into anything. My best bet; cut to create a print on both sides of the clutch to blend together. With the angled print, I made sure to also crop the sides a few centimetres to centre the print for both the front & back of the clutch.

Imagining a cropped tower. Measure twice, cut once.

There’s no going back now!

Being careful not to ruin the print, I made sure I ironed my seams using a pillow case as the top layer/barrier in fear that the print would melt under the heat. Not being a fan of sewing zippers, I had to strategically think how best to fit it into the equation & get past my zipper fear. I still had a few issues as I ended up sewing it in last than first out of fear. Having extra length, I gave the zipper enough room to bend & be tucked into the clutch by giving a 1cm buffer from the width’s sides.

Ironing the mouth of the bag in preparation of sewing in the zipper.

Coming down to the final seams of the experiment, I realized I almost sewed the last seam inside out with the zipper closed. Don’t make this mistake too! I’m really satisfied with the cropping of the print as it would’ve been too much altogether. Having the front look a little soft with the LONDON title & light-pink metallic zipper, I got a little creative & blended the look with layers of black zigzag stitching. I think it toughened up the clutch & helped to compliment the awesome handmade DIY tassel as seen on The Curly Needle.

The final clutch experiment. Back side. 

The final clutch experiment. Front side. 

Already making use of it, this clutch has travelled with me during my holidays all week long. It’s worked well to bundle up my flight accessories. 

To make your own clutch (1) cut a tote into three pieces. The back side will be the full size of the clutch while the front side will be cut in ¼ & ¾ sizes in relation to the back side. Make sure to always leave room for seams. (2) Don’t make my mistake & please sew the zipper part first. (3) With right sides together & the zipper open enough to flip later, sew up the top & side seams. (4) Add an awesome tassel, stitching or whatever you choose to make it your own. 

To check out what Amreeta made with her Pen-pal DIY Swap package, go check out her blog post too & let us know what you’d like to see us make in the future. xo 

-Cory U


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New Top: Lottie’s Sweater by CUExperiments

Sometimes when I start crocheting a new experiment the yarn starts to take on a life of its own. Sometimes the yarn is a slightly different thickness than the last ball & things become bigger or smaller than usual. Sometimes I design an experiment that the yarn just doesn’t look right doing. Sometimes I will work the yarn over & over again unravelling the same few rows just to get the perfect stitches for the perfect look. It’s a lot of experimenting & that’s what I love about it.

This cropped sweater came to be from a quick experiment. I had a small amount of yarn left to work with but loved the colour too much not to try to squeeze a sweater out of it. (I was being more hopeful than practical this time round.) Halfway through I knew I wouldn’t have enough to finish & couldn’t get anymore of this colour but I had this inkling that it was still meant to be. So halfway through following my pattern for Charlotte’s Sweater it turned into Lottie’s Sweater instead. 

At this point there’s only the one available unless more are requested. For me, I jazzed up a basic LBD by throwing Lottie’s Sweater over top. I think it’d also be a great piece for casual festival wear this summer or to spruce up a simple sports bra or swimsuit on those sunny warm days. Grab it quick at the brand new CUExperiments.ca!

-Cory U


WEARING: Dress - F21 // Top - CUExperiments

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Hanging Outside in CUExperiments with Naomi Rose… & an Announcement

Sometimes I wonder how such an age gap with my cousin works so well in a creative sense, but it just does. We’re eight years apart but when it comes down to making things together you would never know. Ever since we were old enough to collaborate with each other, Naomi (aka itsnomers) & I have created together & I’ve always been proud of what we’ve done. We’ve made up songs, crafted a whole lot, & been each others muse for projects; this is only naming a few. This time round, she pulled out her trusty camera & I packed a bag full of CUExperiments pieces to showcase her work along with my own. Playing with the natural settings of a nearby trail, we found the perfect backdrops for the relaxed & carefree ease of the crochet. The pops of colour contrasting between the green plant life & each crochet experiment completely mesmerize me. I’m so thrilled by this collaboration!

Now onto the announcement: If you’ve taken notice recently, the CUExperiments site was temporarily down for a little bit of an update. Now relaunched with even more photos featured by Naomi, the Market Bag & Baker’s Beanie are now available for purchase there too. Also added is the option to contact for custom designs (technically always available, but now more clear). 

CUExperiments Baker’s Beanie in Linen & Market Bag Striped Collection No.1. 


CUExperiments Charlotte’s Sweater in Rose.


CUExperiments Baker’s Beanie in Red.


CUExperiments OOAK Floral Headband. My own. Contact for custom.


CUExperiments Lace Collar Necklace - Feather Collection in Cream White.


CUExperiments Sparkle Slouchy Hat in Red. Contact for custom.


More images of this collab & these experiments (including the brand new Market Bag) can be found at www.CUExperiments.ca xo

-Cory U


Read more Moments with itsnomers.

P.S. This photo series was taken on my last road trip visit, recently blogged.

P.P.S. Naomi can be found & followed at itsnomers on youtube & twitter.


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It’s a work in progress, but I’m slowly getting ready for the winter season at CUExperiments on etsy. Scary to say winter is coming, & it seems to be coming up fast!

If you’ve been following from the start, you may have noticed that this is actually an experiment reintroduced from a few years back. It’s definitely on of my go-to scarves for those crazy cold winter days when all the layers of clothing you own still barely keep you warm. It’s made from an acrylic & wool blend.

Find your very own here: Zig Zag Oversized Cowl Cream Chunky Infinity by CUExperiments

-Cory U

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How I Made Makeup Cozies: Benefit Canada x Cory U of CUExperiments*

Looking back at the beginning of the year, I had a wonderful opportunity to design makeup cozies for Benefit Cosmetics Benetints. These cute little cozies were such a fun experiment to put together & today I wanted to share the design side of the story. Through working on #The100DayProject this year I’ve realized that most people don’t know that the majority of what I crochet is of my own design. What’s even crazier is that most of the time I don’t even know what the end result will be! It truly is an experiment & even when I have an idea in my head, I truly don’t know what will come out until I start playing around with stitches. So this is the story on how I made makeup cozies. 

In my previous post I stated that the original plan was to make a batch of matching colour cozies. That was easier said than done. It’s not easy finding four perfect colour matches while wanting to be consistent by using only one brand of yarn. Thank goodness for Knit Picks Palette Yarn with150 different colour choices to choose from. I stared at the screen for hours until deciding to buy the lot of four almost exactly similar shades of red, three versions of orange, seven pink/purple tones, & two kinds of white. The extra choices came in handy because my gut colour picks were only half right & those metallic bottles were tricky tones to match. 

When the abundance of colours came in, I made sure that every colour I bundled up was labeled with a makeshift folded sticky note tag. The colours were so similar & I wanted to make sure I remembered which one worked best. With the zigzag design originating from my coffee cozy pattern I only had to worry about colour, hook size, & the amount of stitches needed to complete the first set. Easy! It got much trickier when I decided to change things up.

During the time I was colour shopping, the idea popped into my mind to design faces with tinted cheeks & lips. I thought it’d be fun to make something that represented what the makeup is used for; their “Benebabes.” I had no idea if I’d have enough surface area or how to really make it work but I wanted to experiment & try. That’s when I decided to add two shades of white to the yarn haul & give it a shot. 

The first major challenge for the Benebabies was making the perfect cheeky circle. I had to deconstruct the single crochet stitch into its three parts to pull on either the red or white yarn at the perfect time. I wanted a round solid cheek & if I didn’t deconstruct perfectly the cheek would look oddly square & have white flecks in the red. That’s when scribbling down every single note became really important to work out the best result.

The second major challenge was figuring out the shape & placement of the eyes, cheeks, & lips. Once the cheeky circle was designed I had to keep in mind how much room I needed from top to bottom. The eye lash eyes were quickly made up but the lips were problematic. In my mind I wanted a straight smiling face; just a little closed lip & nothing more. I found out fast that red wisps stuck to the white base with every stitch attempt & after hours of trying, no closed lip looked quite right. I decided to keep my first attempt & try all over again. 


From the first attempt to the final product, a few things changed. The stark white yarn didn’t seem like a soft enough skin tone so I switched to the natural creamy white instead. It was a better contrast to the bright white lid. I also moved down the cheeky circles by a row or so to give the Benebabies a proper forehead. Lastly, I came to the epiphany that the lips needed to be open to look just right. The open lips help to animate the face & I think that also gives them just as much character as the vibrant brand itself.


Overall, the entire experiment took about 30 hours of design work from the first stitch to the finished product. This included about 10 hours of design to create a striped makeup bag too. I wanted to carry the tints in something special & I used the website branded colours to inspire the stripes. To be honest, it took me 10 hours of work because the first try looked too much like piglet & I unraveled almost a days work to change up the base shade of pink. Crochet trail & error at its finest! The makeup bag & more about this wonderful opportunity can be found on last February’s post. It was truly a joy to make this experiment & finally show you what goes into the work I love to do.


The featured cozies were posted on Benefit Canada’s Instagram back in the start of chilly 2015; the matchy-matchy cozies & the Benebabies. They were soon after featured on the US/International Benefit Instagram as well. 

-Cory U


P.S. Crochet experiments are made by me, Cory U. Makeup all thanks to Benefit Cosmetics, of course. xo 


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Benefit Canada x Cory U of CUExperiments*

Today I’m doing a little hybrid post of a Recently on Instagram & a Throwback Thursday featuring a fun experiment I worked on for Benefit Cosmetics

I had the pleasure of meeting the Benefit Canada team late last year at Spark Sessions. After a quick introduction I was shocked & amazed that we were chatting about me designing a crochet experiment in the form of cute & colourful matching cozies for their Benetints. Of course I jumped at the opportunity & started a hunt for the most perfect yarn colours to match. I ended up ordering online twice as many colours than what I needed just to get it right; so worth it!

Originally the plan was for just a batch of simple matching colour cozies. With ideas quickly churning away in my head I couldn’t stop at that & I proceeded to design more. We called them the Benebabies & I paired them with their own makeup bag striped in Benefit pinks. Meet Lola, Charlie, Betty & Polly everyone!  

I had an unbelievable time working on this experiment & loved the opportunity of getting creative for a company I absolutely adore. I received the loveliest thank you card & gift package in return, & my thank you’s to them are endless. I was not expecting anything & now I have more makeup than time to test it all! I’ll blog my favourites at some point for sure, but I might be biased in saying I love the tints most after this experience. I can’t stress it enough in saying that they’re such a great team of people! So fun & so creative too!

I’ll be blogging more on the making of these cozies & babies soonish but in the meantime don’t forget to check out the original images posted on Benefit Canada’s Instagram; the matchy-matchy cozies & the Tint Benefamily Benebabies.

-Cory U


P.S. For clarities sake, top two photos are from & featured on Benefit Canada’s Instagram the rest are my own found here at www.coryu.ca. Crochet experiments are made by me, Cory U, & makeup all thanks to Benefit Cosmetics of course. xo 


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There’s a whole lotta love in the CUExperiments shop right now. Find your favourites, from things for wearing to things for decorating for this Valentine’s Day or year round. My own heart garland adds some whimsy & decorates my bookshelf each & every day.

Find these handmade experiments & more at CUExperiments on etsy.

-Cory U


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CUExperiments IS BACK!

I’m so excited to have CUExperiments on etsy back up for the new year after lots of traveling & catching up with family. I wanted to do some minor updates, & even though they’ll be never ending, I’m happy with what’s been done so far. I’ve added a little blurb along with a Fufu Bunny image to each listing to help explain that yes, each experiment is handmade & hand autographed by me. I want to keep my experiments personal & unique & handmade through & through.

To help celebrate, a Coupon Code has been made for the rest of January. From NOW until JANUARY 31st, 2015, USE coupon code “CUEISBACKJAN15” for 15% off your purchase of any experiment (or experiments) by Cory U at CUExperiments on etsy. I so hope you take the time to check it out & share as well! 

Middle images are od me, working away to get CUExperiments back up & running & strangely enough wearing CUExperiments at the same time. I’ll come out & admit that today is the first day that’ve I’ve worn my own Feather Lace Collar Necklace oot & aboot. I’m really enjoying it! 

-Cory U



PHOTOS: T: Zig Zag Oversized Cowl - Cream // ML: XO Sweater Shawl, Black Milk Leggings, KT Tape, Original Instagram Pic // MR: Feather Lace Collar Necklace, Giant Tiger Top, (Grandpa’s) Plaid Shirt, Happy Plugs Headphones, Original Instagram Pic // B: Fufu Bunny ScarfCUExperiments

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Update on #100DaysofCreativeExperiments for #The100DayProject - Day 13

It took me most of the week but I caught up & I’m now on track with the rest who are attempting #The100DayProject this year. Today marks day thirteen & my garden of flowers is growing nicely. 

I didn’t want to bombard a post with every project post since that’s not what I like to do with Recently on Instagram but share some of the highlights instead. So far the toughest flowers I’ve attempted were the hyacinths & the rose. I fiddled around with breaking down & pretty well dissecting crochet stitches to create clusters & short cuts I’ve never thought possible before. The hyacinth is made up of one progressive chain of flowers attached through chain stitches that are used as base loops! I don’t know how I figured out that breakdown & I’m sorry for any of those that don’t understand. It’s fun treating this experiment as a new way to learn more crochet tricks.

As I said before, I’ve named this project Creative Experiments because there are some days I know I won’t have the strength or opportunity to crochet. This week I got to experiment with my first 3D printer & made a bunny! Now I just wish I could crochet a 3D bunny as quickly as that one was designed & printed. If only.

As said on Instagram, for this experiment I’m not following any patterns & designing as I go, so if you’d like to make a flower request you totally can! If you have any flower recommendations let me know (through Instagram is best so I can give you credit). Must be recognizable in 2D form & from a bird’s-eye-view. If I end up experimenting with your request I’ll make sure to mention you. 

Just to note, tulips have been requested multiple times now. I’m going to try at some point but a bird’s-eye-view is going to be tricky to interpret. Please no more tulip requests. 


-Cory U

Read More: Joining #The100DayProject - Day 1 

P.S. Thanks to MakeLab & the FITC Conference for the 3D bunny printing opportunity. More on this soon.


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Market Testing a Market Bag. AKA Shopping!

I’ve been experimenting with mixing colours when it comes to crochet lately. I have boxes full of different pinks, & yellows, & blues but I never seem to throw them all together. I guess I could say that I like to keep a practical palette when it comes to design. After a long stare down at all these random colours of boxed up yarn I decided to integrate these five into a vibrant boho bag. I think the hope for Spring & the return to long walks on the beach & marketplace helped inspire this experiment for sure. 

I could say a project is complete when the last piece of yarn is woven, but I really like to test things out before I truly know that they’re done. Today was the first day I really got to test out the bag for weight & durability as I headed to the market for my weekly fruits & veg. It was fun & a little nerve-wracking watching the bag expand as I threw in my avocados, sweet potatoes, broccoli, beets, carrots, onions, peppers, mushrooms & strawberries into my brand new bag; there was so much weight! The thing that I loved most about making a loosely stitched tote was that I discovered how pliable & contouring yarn is compared to a basic fabric tote. The yarn seemed to hug all the items in place while the mouth of the bag still closed nicely & allowed me to hold it close to my side on the walk home. It felt like I wasn’t squishing everything the same way my favourite canvas bag does.

Since I just wanted to take sneak peak picture today, unfortunately the stitches look quite similar from this angle. If you look closely you can see that that’s actually not true & I really worked to challenge myself by making subtle pattern differences, like the wave effect you can spot in the green row. 

I think I’ll test out the bag with a few more market runs before I make another, but I can see one of these popping up in the CUExperiments shop at some point in time; mostly likely experimenting with a different colour combo too!

-Cory U


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