Sep 11, 2015

Lenny Lamb Babywearing Fleece

I really enjoy trying various babywearing accessories, and managed to score a great deal on a Lenny Lamb babywearing fleece coat after making a purchase of one of the soft structured carriers (they offer a discount towards future purchases!) As usual, the package arrived quickly, and was not hit with duties (so far I'm four for four with LL purchases!). 

I ordered the size small, as I am usually about a size 6, in a blue colour. I didn't realise it at the time, but it also came with a little dickie for baby to wear to keep their head toasty warm while wearing.

My first impressions were the fleece was very soft, and nice and thick. It doesn't feel cheaply made at all, I was quite impressed with the quality for the price I paid.

My three year old tried to help me out by modelling the dickie. It didn't fit him so well (my children have giant heads). :)
Big guy helping model the front carry.
He also helped me model a front carry for this coat. As you can see, my 98% three year old was a bit long for this jacket, but we squeezed in there anyway.

For back carrying, you just turn the coat around. I took this coat out for snuggly walks with my toddler on several occasions, in early Winter and late Autumn weather in Ottawa. We both wore toques, mitts, and boots and we super warm. I would highly recommend this fleece coat to anyone as a cheap option for a mildly cold weather (0 degrees Celsius-ish) babywearing coat!

The verdict:
Pros: Affordable, available, well made, comfortable.
Cons: None I can think of
Recommendation: Great fleece for wearing in Autumn, Springtime and early Canadian winters.

Sep 4, 2015

Cloth of Kin - Doula Love 4.2m

A local mama offered a contest for her business to submit a wrap design based on doulas, which would then be mocked up and created through a Cloth of Kin custom slot she had. Though my submission didn't win, I did end up purchasing a semi-custom of the winning entry, which was called Doula Love.

The colours of this wrap were so vibrant. I had a hard time deciding what weft to pick for it. I ended up choosing a cotolin weft in peacock (turquoise), as I wanted something supportive and colourful for my chunky monkey. I chose a yellow stripe middle marker, for contrast.

The weaver kept us updated with photos throughout the weaving process, and it was completed near the timelines promised. The anticipation of owning a wrap that I had so much input into was so exciting, the wait felt so much longer than it was!

The first thing I noticed when I received my wrap was how incredibly soft it was right out of the package. It didn't feel like linen blend to me at all, and wrapped nicely, without the hardness I have come to expect from linen. It measured slightly longer than the 4.2m I had asked for, which isn't a bad thing in my books. I sent it to SewFunky to be hemmed when it arrived, as the 'lengths of fabric' from Cloth of Kin all arrive unhemmed. 

I used this wrap in the heat of the summer with my young toddler, and enjoyed the support it gave, while also appreciating how thin it was. I would compare it to UppyMama in thickness, possibly a touch heavier in weight than the UppyMama linen I have tried. 

I always received comments on the beauty of this wrap, and felt great wearing it in any condition, because it was so easy to launder. I only moved this wrap along to another home when I received a wrap in very similar colours in the same length and appreciated the wrapping qualities of the new one better (review to come on that one... my very first full length UppyMama!).

The Verdict:
Pros: Canadian handwoven, affordable, custom slots are attainable!, great communication, great design, fabulous wrapping qualities (for linen especially!).
Cons: I have none for this wrap and CoK experience. 
Recommendation: I would recommend this wrap to anyone looking for a well-priced Canadian handwoven. The linen blend was comfortable and supportive, without the 'dig' I usually experience in linen.

Aug 28, 2015

Didymos Lisca Sambuco

I bought this Lisca used from a local mama, as I wanted to try a Lisca for myself to see what all of the hype was about. My first impressions were that it was incredibly soft, and the colours were lovely. It was also much more thin than I was expecting.

I really enjoyed the purple and orange colours together. These are two of my favourites, and they made for a delightful Autumn blend, which was especially lovely close up. I don't have any photos handy from our time with this wrap, so here is a lovely stock photo.

This wrap was a size 6, which is a bit long for me, but for how thin these are, I think it is good to have a longer wrap. I tried a ruck in this and it felt very thin and diggy, but in a double hammock it was much more comfortable.

I think this would be a really great newborn wrap. It has the stretch that would hold a tiny squishy baby in place solidly, but is very soft and has a slight cush to it that a stretchy wrap would not have. Unfortunately, we got it when little man was well over 20lbs, so it left quickly.

The Verdict:
Pros: Super soft, lots of stretch, lovely colour
Cons: Too thin and stretchy to be super supportive for larger babies
Recommendation: This would make an amazing newborn wrap, and does fine in multi-pass carries for larger babes, but wouldn't be my first choice for a larger babe.

Update: Found a photo!

Jul 10, 2015

Oscha Strato Aequus Lambswool Blend Size 5

I have been in love with Oscha's Strato pattern for the longest time, and have been a lover of wool also. I was ISO Aequus for a long while, and managed to find one while perusing the Canadian Swap one day for an amazing deal. 

When it arrived, I could tell it wasn't very broken in, it was much more scratchy and thick than the Didy wools I have grown used to, so I worked on it a bit with some steam and love. I don't think it helped that I received this beauty in the summer, when it is definitely a cooler-weather wrap.

I wrapped my toddler with is a few times for short outings, he was not wanting to be up long at the time, and it was quite a warm wrap. I found it very supportive, but a bit hard on my shoulders. I don't usually mind itchy wool, but this was even a bit itchy for my tastes. I ended up selling it very quickly, as I still couldn't find the Oscha love, even after lusting over this beauty for so long.

Blurry park ruck

The pattern is just so lovely though, I wish I could have liked it better. I thought it would have been more of a blue colour, but it was very purple, which I tend to be drawn to.

Stock photo to show beauty
The Verdict:
Pros: Beautiful pattern, beautiful colour, great warmth for a cold weather wrap, super sturdy.
Cons: Itchy and beastly new, not enough give and bounce for my taste.
Recommendations: If you don't mind itchy wool, and are looking for something to keep you and bubs warm during long winter walks, this beast is up to the task. This is not a light wrap by any means, and not my recommendation for new wrappers or summer heat.

Jul 3, 2015

Didymos Brown Cashmere India Ring Sling

As you can tell, I really like Didymos wraps. I've tried most of their blends and styles, in a variety of lengths and types of carriers. One blend I really wanted to try last year was cashmere. I am a lover of wool in general, and cashmere seemed to me at the time to be the epitome of luxury for a wool lover. I read many amazing reviews of cashmere india, but as I don't tend to gravitate towards thicker wraps, I was intimidated by the specs of this beautiful beast.

Luckily, a local mama ended up selling her ring sling made from Brown Cashmere India right around the time I was ISO. I literally posted this on her post, I was so excited....

Thanks Nemo.

This sling was in pretty well brand new condition when I received it, and was still a bit itchy to the touch. It softened up very nicely with a bit of gentle breaking in at home. It was very supportive with my toddler, rock solid, but with a bit of cush on the shoulder. There was not very much bounce to it at all though, which I generally prefer in a carrier.

Beautiful bronze rings
We enjoyed this sling for a short while, but the support just ended being more than we needed. If you are a lover of thick wraps. this would probably be right up your alley. I wish I had liked the qualities of this wrap better, as I love the India pattern so much, and the colours of this sling were just right for me.

The Verdict:
Pros: Beautiful, understated, elegant, supportive
Cons: Itchy and somewhat beastly brand new
Recommendation: If you love cashmere and India print, you will love this. If you are looking for a rock-solid beast of a wrap that you can tame into a cuddly soft, yet supportive workhorse, this is for you. If you like bounce and right-out-of-the-box wrapability, maybe this isn't for you.

Jun 25, 2015

Didymos Sambia Size 8 --> Long size 4 and ring sling

As part of the wonderful mystery box I received from Birdie's Room, I owned a size 8 Didymos Sambia. This wrap felt a lot like Orient fresh out of the box, and I believe it was a prototype using the same weaving techniques used to create Orient. The colours were much more earthy than those of Orient, so it was more understated. I really liked the colour on the "right" side, but wasn't too fond of how the "wrong" side of the wrap didn't show a reverse pattern, as was seen in Orient. 

As size 8 is clearly too much wrap for me, I sent it off to be chopped into a long size 4 and size medium gathered ring sling by the ever-talented Tanja at SewFunky.

My lovely trio of mystery box wraps.

This lovely stock photo shows the "right" and "wrong" sides of the wrap better.

I wrapped with the wrap portion of Sambia only once, but found it to wrap nearly exactly like my Orient, which I already owned in a size 5. Since they were so near in size, I decided to sell the wrap and keep the ring sling.

Sambia made an AWESOME ring sling. I paired it with bronze rings and had a gathered shoulder. I took it on trips to the beach and around town. It didn't seem to pull quite as easily as Orient did, which was nice. I found the material supportive enough for my 27lb toddler, but thin and light enough to be a great summer-time option for wearing at the beach. The colours were also perfectly beachy. 

Sharing an ice cream
The Verdict:
Pros: Light, airy weave, easily washable, beautiful colours
Cons: "Wrong" side doesn't have full pattern
Recommendation: If you like Orient, you will like Sambia! It is a great, all around, light-medium weight cotton wrap, with nearly the identical wrapping qualities of Orient. I really enjoyed this sling while it lived with us.

Jun 12, 2015

Lenny Lamb Checked Wild West Wrap Conversion Ergonomic Carrier - Toddler sized

I have never been a fan of buckle carriers, they never seem to fit me well and I always find pressure spots that I can never quite get comfortable. I had been hoping to try a wrap conversion buckle carrier for a long time, as I prefer the floppiness of wraps to canvas in general, but could not wrap my head around all of the options and price of those. I was so excited when I saw Lenny Lamb was coming out with a buckle carrier... at a great price too! There were many colours to choose from, and I decided on Checked Wild West diamond weave, as I love orange and blue together. I purchased a toddler size, as my youngest was a large 15 month old at the time.

It arrived within two weeks from Poland, which I thought was super speedy. I tried it out for a long walk with the little man on my back. It took me a little while to figure out how to adjust all of the straps, as there are PFAs and the buckles pull both to the front and the back. Plus, I was used to the Tula waistband which is more structured than t

his one, so I had to find a good spot on my waist to set it. Once I finally figured it out though, I was very comfortable. My son was able to sit up nice and high, and I had the shoulder straps on one of the tightest settings (I am 5'4 and size 6 or so, for reference).

The material was super floppy right out of the bag, and it didn't seem to get stuck on my son's back like the canvas of the Tulas did when I was pulling the panel up over him on my back. It was very soft, and the colours were so vibrant.

I had trouble figuring out how to put the carrier on for a front carry with the straps crossed, but when I figured it out I found it much more comfortable than other SSCs I had used without crossable straps. My son had some great naps in this carrier, and at no point did I feel digging from the straps on my back as I was accustomed to with other buckle carriers.
Even preschooler approved

I had some friends try this carrier out who were very petite and the straps did not adjust tight enough for them, so this would be something to keep in mind if you are tiny.

I sold this carrier after using it for most of the Summer. So far it is my favourite buckle carrier, but I am still a WCMT/wrap lover at heart, and found myself using those options over this lovely carrier.

The Verdict:
Pros: Affordable, beautiful, comfortable, crossable straps, folds up small
Cons: Does not cinch very small for super petite adult wearers
Recommendation: I recommend this carrier to almost anyone looking for a comfortable and beautiful SSC. As long as you aren't super petite, this carrier will likely work for you!

Jun 5, 2015

Didymos Purple Love (size 3)

I bought a size three Didymos Purple Love from a local mama on impulse, after trying it on at a meetup. The cotton was very sturdy, and it felt lovely in a ruck with my son, who was about 24lbs at the time. The cotton felt thicker in hand than most of my other Didys I had tried, I believe it was the first all cotton jacquard woven wrap that was not in the style of Indio/Sambia, so it felt very flat in comparison.

I found this wrap felt similar in hand to the Pavo San Diego Stripes I used to own, though they wrapped differently. I didn't find the Didy as hard on my shoulders as the Pavo, though I am not sure what the difference in weave between the two is.

I did not keep this shorty in my stash for very long. Although I liked it, I also purchased Audrey around the same time, and two purple size 3 wraps were not necessary in my stash at the time. :) I sold it locally for the same great deal I received on it, I am not even sure if I have action photos of the short stint it had here!
Purple Love next to Harry's Love
The Verdict:
Pros: Beautiful, comfortable
Cons: None I can think of
Recommendation: If you like solid, cotton wraps, and you like to motif on this wrap, I would say go for it! It was a lovely, all around wrap.

May 29, 2015

Didymos Audrey Wool Blend (Size 7 --> Size 3 and ring sling) and MYSTERY BOX!

Every once in awhile Birdie's Room does this amazing "Mystery Box" sale/promotion where you choose from among their various Didymos blends (i.e.: Wool, linen, cotton etc...) and sizes (2,3,4 OR 4,5,6 OR 6,7,8 etc...) and you receive one 'premium' wrap in that blend, along with two other 'mystery' wraps, all at a significant discount from retail pricing, one of each size. The catch is, you can give comments on what your likes and dislikes are, but the three wraps are a surprise! The last time this promotion was available I took the plunge and ordered a XL wool box (sizes 6, 7, 8). I gave some examples of wraps I liked and didn't like, as well as specified some wraps I would love to receive.... I am very pleased to say all of the wraps I received were ones I listed as wanting to try!

I received a size 6 Harry's Love, which I gifted to a good friend who was ISO, a size 7 Audrey wool blend, and a size 8 Sambia. I sent Sambia and Audrey off to be chopped into ring slings and shorties. Sambia review will be saved for another day. :)

I received back a size 3.2m Audrey and medium gathered shoulder ring sling. For awhile I kept both, but didn't use ring slings as much at that point in our babaywearing days, so decided to sell it and keep the shorty.

BNIB you could definitely tell that Audrey was wool. She had a bit of prickle that lessened a bit after a bath with some wool wash. I steam ironed it also, which is great for settling down the more prickly wool fibres. I was surprised by how thin this wrap was in hand, it is one of the thinnest wraps I have owned by feel, though I haven't weighed it. The stretch and bounce this wrap offers is fantastic! I used this wrap mainly for rucks with my toddler who was 25+lbs at the time and we were so comfortable. We also wore this wool in the heat of the summer, and it was absolutely comfy and breathable in a ruck.

At first, I wasn't sure of the colours, but the olive really looks like a neutral brown in most lighting, and the overall effect of this wrap is very neutral and classy. This wrap molds like a second skin, and is one of my favourites thus far among everything we have tried.

The Verdict:
Pros: Mouldable, bouncy, no sag, cushy, beautiful, classy....
Cons: Definitely has a wool feel to it, if you are at all sensitive I would steer clear.
Recommendation: I would recommend this wrap to anyone looking for a classy, understated wrap that has great bounce and is breathable enough for all year round. I never hesitate to recommend this wrap unless someone is super sensitive to wool!

May 22, 2015

Didymos Indio Bordeaux Hemp Blend (Extra wide - Size 5)

I had wanted to try a Didymos Indio for a long time after hearing such great things from Indio devotees about the wrapping qualities of these beautiful patterned wraps. Didymos has a great little blurb on how these wraps are woven on their website :( "The INDIO fabrics are woven on a dobby loom. The dobby weaving technique is related to the Jacquard technique and it regularly alternates different weaves to create a particularly fine and graphic pattern. It is very similar on both sides, though one side being the negative of the other one. Our INDIO fabrics are particularly soft, fluffy to the touch and have good diagonal stretch."

I saw that Didymos released an extra wide Indio, called Bordeaux, and decided to try it out, as I love width in wraps with Mr. Seat Popper. When I received it brand new in the box it was incredibly stiff, which I have heard is common with a new hemp blend. I washed and dryed it per instructions and it came out of the wash ready to be worn. The difference with that one wash and dry was fantastic!

I wore this wrap for both front and back carries with my son who was approx. 27lb at the time. It was incredibly bouncy and comfortable, I found the blend very cushy for how thin the wrap was. It felt a bit like shock absorbers on the shoulders because of the really nice bounce. There was no sag whatsoever to this wrap either. The width was a little bit too much, even for me. I think I measured it to be about 32 inches wide, which sometimes was a bit overwhelming if not wrapped carefully. 

I never had an uncomfortable trip in this wrap, and I wore it often over the hot summer months without feeling like the hemp was too hot or heavy. On Canada Day, my three year old 40lb son and I watched the fireworks late that night, and I rucked him home in this wrap in comfort when he was too tired to walk back. I ended up selling this wrap to be able to try more things, but I would buy another hemp indio in the future with no hesitation, as it was super comfortable.

The Verdict:
Pros: Hemp is bouncy and easy to care for, the pattern is neutral, the colours available for hemp indios are beautiful. 
Cons: The extra width of this wrap was a bit much for me, only truly appreciated when wrapping a very tall three year old.
Recommendation: I think everyone should try a hemp indio at some point in their churning life, this was a super comfortable and versatile wrap. It was lovely in single and multi-pass carries, for both front and back wearing. 

May 15, 2015

Pavo San Diego Stripes (Size 6)

I was ISO Pavo Stripes in pretty well any colour or size for awhile. I liked the simplicity of the design and how it was described as "like a favourite t-shirt" in feel. I missed out on a couple on the Canadian Swaps and finally found a great deal on San Diego Stripes in a size 6.

The sweet mama sent me a lovely thank you card with the wrap, which came in the original Pavo envelope also. The colours were absolutely perfect for me, and I likened it to a floppy beach towel in feel. It was very soft to the touch, but remarkably sturdy feeling too, as most Pavo wraps are.

I wore this wrap mostly in a double hammock or front wrap cross carry, although I did try a couple ruck variations with is also. I found the sturdie-ness (it's a word now) of the fabric led to it feeling hard on my shoulders, no matter how carefully I tied it. It looked super moldable and supportive, but to me it just felt HARD.

I tried really hard to like this wrap, because I really liked how it looked, and the colours were just right for little man and I. However, the wrapping qualities were not working for us, so I had to let it go to another local mama, who very much loves Pavo WQ. 

The verdict:
Pros: Beautiful, affordable, easy to care for, sturdy
Cons: Sturdy (yes I know I listed it as both)
Recommendations: If you need a solid, reliable, beater wrap that will hold up to whatever you can throw at it, while also looking cute, this is it. If you have picky shoulders, or generally dislike Pavo's WQ, give it a pass.

May 8, 2015

Cloth of Kin Secret Rainbow Alpaca Silk Blend (Size 6)

I saw a beautiful rainbow coloured wrap posted on the swaps one day and was too slow to snatch it up. It was a Cloth of Kin Secret Rainbow in linen weft, and I lusted over that wrap for several months before I finally had the opportunity to try one for myself. I traded with a lovely mama for her size 6 CoK Secret Rainbow in alpaca silk grey weft. When I received it I couldn't believe how ridiculously soft it was, more than kitten belly soft, it was absolutely divine. I wrapped my son with it for a short time in a ruck, and the bounce was lovely, though I did notice a bit of sag, as I wasn't used to wrapping with such a bouncy wrap at the time.

I used this wrap in double hammocks for longer walks mostly, and found it very warm and comfortable. This blend is on the warmer side, even though it is very thin, so I found it a bit awkward to wear in the summer heat in multiple layers.

I was very impressed with the weaving, as I had not heard the best things about the quality of Cloth of Kin wraps before this time. There were some small skips in the weave, but nothing major that could be seen without really looking for it. The colours were so beautiful, really having to been seen in person to appreciate. I also really enjoyed that this blend was machine washable, which made the fibre fluff up even more.

Being alpaca, it did shed a little bit, which wasn't a big deal for me, but did bother the mama who I traded for it from, as she had wool allergies and found this to be a trigger.

The Verdict:
Pros: Soft, beautiful, warm, affordable handwoven, Canadian weaver
Cons: Sheds, not the most supportive
Recommendation: This would be an amazing newborn wrap, in fact, I have a custom in the works in the same blend because I loved this one so much!

May 1, 2015

Topatop WCMT Didymos Waves and Hoppediz Montreal

After having tried a Topatop WCMT previously and loving the ease of use and overall design, I knew I would likely purchase one again at some point. I ended up choosing a full wrap conversion made from Didymos Waves for the panel, straps, and waist, as well as a reversible panel of Hoppediz Montreal print.

I ordered a c-form hood and an in-between size when I placed my order. Alina gave me an estimated date of shipping the carrier, and I did not hear from her again until after that date had passed, when I followed up to see if it had been shipped, and requested tracking information. She provided me with tracking information which did not work, and I waited for nearly five weeks, and several follow-up requests to her with no response, before the carrier arrived. The only time she responded was when I asked for a refund if I did not have the carrier to me by a specific date, which it arrived before.

When I opened the carrier, I noticed it had a flat hood and was the regular size, not an in-between. I contacted Alina and she refunded me for the extra I had paid for the hood. I decided to keep the carrier, as I had waited so long to receive it.

Customer service and mistakes aside, Topatop is a well made product for the price charged. The wrap straps are comfortable, the cinching mechanism is perfect, and the waist strap is very comfortable. I have used this carrier from the time I received it until past 18 months with my youngest, and have always been able to get a comfortable carry, even for extended periods of time. I plan to keep this carrier in our collection until our babywearing days are over, as it is that versatile and comfortable.

The Verdict:
Pros: Comfortable, affordable, beautiful, versatile
Cons: Long shipping time, poor customer service
Recommendations: If you can find one of these on the second hand market and are looking for a great WCMT to try, buy it! It is well made and comfortable, and the price makes it easy to justify. If you are patient, try your luck at ordering a semi-custom from her wide selection of wraps on hand. 

Apr 24, 2015

Anaira WCMT - Inda Jani Fular Sara

I have always loved the comfort of a wrap conversion mei-tai, but have never been able to bring myself to chop a wrap up to make another carrier out of it. As such, I usually end up purchasing my WCMTs second-hand, or pre-made from a store. I found a beautiful looking Anaira conversion of an Inda Jani wrap (now called Antama I believe), Fular Sara, on the website for 5 Minute Recess and the beautiful photos persuaded me to buy it.

It arrived quickly, and the package was huge! This wrap was a serious fatty, I would have been interested in trying it out in wrap form. The weave was diamond weave, with very thick looking threads, but the weave was quite loose. This made it super pull-prone, which you may know by now is one of my pet peeves. I was able to overlook it for awhile though because the was such a deliciously comfortable carrier.

Adorable package.
The carrier was heavy in hand, but super stretchy and mold-able when worn. I wore my son, who was about 16 months at the time, for extended periods of both front and back wearing. We wore this WCMT to the beach, on hikes, and even adventures with dinosaurs!
Dinosaur walks
 I ended up being bitten with the WCMT bug, and became overstashed, so I sold this carrier, but I miss it sometimes. It was so very comfortable.
Forest adventures
The Verdict: 
Pros: Affordable, beautiful, comfortable, stretchy
Cons: Heavy and bulky, not very portable when not in use. Super pull prone. Anaira no longer works with Inda Jani wraps, so you would have to find one of these on the second hand market. 
Recommendations: This was a great price for a great WCMT. If you are interested in trying one, and don't mind a little extra bulk, this was a really comfy bet!

Apr 20, 2015

My jam

I have been giving reviews and opinions on carriers, but a post on Facebook yesterday has me thinking about how different we all are in terms of what we look for in a wrap. The question was, in a nutshell, "What is your jam?" i.e.: What do you like in a wrap in terms of wrapping qualities?

There were a lot of differences of opinion, so I thought I would share with you my response, so when you see my reviews, you know why I have reviewed something in a certain way.

  •  I like medium thin with stretch, I prefer blends with wool, all types of wool. I also love all cotton. I prefer a bit wider and do not have a preference for hemmed vs unhemmed rails. I have 0 tolerance for "sturdy" wraps. I can't do linen, or any pavo or Oscha I've tried, as I find that the "awesome support" translates into them all being hard on the shoulders, which I can't stand. I would wrap with a wrap that has nice wq over pretty any day, but I've been trying to find pretty wraps that I like the wrapping qualities of more often now. I used to buy ugly wraps not caring as long as they were comfy. I like pin striping a lot, but I also get bored easy, so I like to have a variety of colours and patterns to keep me happy. I also hate critters, like so much. I tend to gravitate to Uppys and Didys, though I have a lot of other randoms also.
  • I also really like pointed twill. The cush and thickness are just right 

When I say medium thin, I probably mean somewhere between 210-260g/m2, which woven wraps database classifies as medium. I know many wraps produced are currently on the thicker side of the scale now though, so this definition might be a bit outdated.

I have really enjoyed most of the wool blends I have tried, and truly think you cannot go wrong with wool as long as you are ok with buying superwash ($$$) or handwashing as far as wrapping qualities go.

I know Oscha and Pavo are favourites of a lot of people, but I just CANNOT wrap well with them. I've now owned/tried 6+ Oscha and 5+ Pavo wraps, and I have honestly not overly enjoyed the wrapping qualities of any of them.
A current stash shot in poor lighting

So anyways, now you know a bit about my biases, and I hope this helps you in deciding if my reviews are applicable to your preferences or not. Have a wonderful Monday!

Apr 17, 2015

AndalGo Carribean Pointed / Zig-zag Twill Weave (Size 7, size 3, rs)

I purchased this wrap from a mama in the U.S. after admiring how beautiful it was, with the justification that I wanted to try a pointed twill weave. It was long when I received it, and I wore it as it was for awhile before deciding to chop it into a ring sling and size 3 wrap. I sold the ring sling and have been loving on this short wrap ever since.

The weaver does semi-custom slots, where she chooses the warp but allows for custom wefts to be chosen. Her work is absolutely lovely, and she has a great variety of weaves and colours to choose from.
Photo courtesy of Sara McConnell Photography
From my first experience with twill, I was expecting this wrap to be thick. I would call it a medium thickness for a handwoven. It has a lot of support, feels dense in hand, and a nice bit of stretch and cush. It is supportive enough for use in a ruck with my bigger guys, and the length is great for quick ups and downs. I also like the texture of this wrap, as I can easily wear it in a short cross carry with a ring with no slippage, and without having to constantly re-adjust it.

Also makes a great snuggle blanket
Photo courtesy of Sara McConnell Photography

I chose this wrap to wear for a babywearing photo session I had with Sara McConnell Photography at a Babywearing Picnic our local group hosted. The colours really popped, and look just right for summer!

I've kept this wrap in my stash for a long time now, and have put it up for sale a couple of times that I have chickened on. I see AndalGos on the swaps all of the time, and wonder why they go for such a great price, this is a seriously underrated wrap!

The Verdict:
Pros: Affordable handwoven, super cushy and moldable, beautiful colour selection, nice texture, not too grippy
Cons: None I can think of?
Recommendation: I would recommend these wraps to anyone looking for a great, affordable handwoven that is easily obtained new or on the second-hand market.

Apr 10, 2015

Natibaby Nepal - 33% merino (Size 6)

After my first foray into wool with SweetPlace, I decided I had to try more. I saw Natibaby Nepal as one of the BOGO offers on Natibaby's website and snapped it up. The blend was 33% wool, which was slightly higher than the previous one I had tried.

It arrived and I gave it a wooly bath in the tub, then ever so not patiently waited for it to dry. Despite Natibaby's recommendations, I would not wash these in the washing machine. Felting is scary. Save your wraps. Once dry, I wrapped my youngest in a dh with it and noticed immediately that it was longer than a size 6, which is what I had ordered.

I had a lovely local seamstress chop and hem the wrap to a 4.5m, which is my favourite long length. She made some adorable elephant stuffies for the boys out of the scraps.

I found this wrap amazing for back carries, but a bit too rigid for long-term front wearing. It didn't have the same amount of bounce that SweetPlace had. It was very soft, and I loved the neutral stripe pattern. It was a bit more slippy than SweetPlace also, which I found nice mostly, but was sometimes challenging overtop of a winter coat. There was no sag at all in this wrap, which was lovely for longer wearing of my big guys.

The Verdict:
Pros: Soft, supportive, neutral
Cons: Handwash, a bit slippery
Recommendation: This would be a great first foray into wool, and a wonderful year-round wool wrap. With careful wrapping, this would be comfortable for even larger babies on front and back. 

Apr 3, 2015

Mama Minnow Wild Rumpus (Size 4)

I saved one of my very favourite wraps, by my very favourite weaver to be posted on this special day... today is my birthday!

After staring at a longer version of this wrap on the swap, hemming, hawing, and eventually missing out on it, I vowed that I would buy a Mama Minnow Wild Rumpus wrap should I ever see one again. Thankfully, one came up in a size 4 (3.8m), and I snatched it up. 

The inspiration for this amazing neutral wrap came from the book "Where the Wild Things Are", specifically on the photo (below) of the Wild Rumpus that Max and the Wild Things had while he was on his adventures. Having loved this book for a good long time, this wrap called to me from the moment I saw it.

Chandra, the amazingly talented weaver, is Canadian, and has based a line of her handwoven wraps on children's literary classics such as WTWTA, calling it her "Wrap & Read Literary Lineup". Other inspirations include Freight Trainbow and Pete the Cat.

When I received this package in the mail, I was shocked at how small and light the package was. This wrap is without a doubt the thinnest handwoven I have ever tried. I could nearly see the writing on the envelope of the package through this wrap in the sunshine. I was a bit worried, as my boys are chunky monkeys, but thankfully, this wrap proved that thin doesn't have to mean diggy!

I took a look over this wrap with a fine-tooth comb, and Chandra's attention to detail is just amazing. The colours melded together so well, there were no mistakes in the weaving that my human eye could see, and her selvedges were the very definition of razor sharp.

I was able to eke out a front wrap cross carry with this when my son was a bit younger, and wore him for naps in it, and on downtown adventures with no digging or sagging. This wrap was delightfully supportive and comfortable! I also loved it in a reinforced ruck, and could squeak out a Christina's ruckless with it, with some careful tying. The colours were so lovely and neutral, it was such a classy wrap.

I was so very fortunate to win a "Golden dibs ticket" for another Mama Minnow wrap, and sold this lovely piece of art to a mama in my local babywearing group, as a legacy wrap for her son. I definitely would have held onto it if I didn't know I was secure in owning another Mama Minnow in the future!

The Verdict:
Pros: So thin, Canadian weaver, amazing neutral, amazing weaving, beautiful all around.
Cons: Small batches make it difficult to score a Mama Minnow, so if you see one BUY IT!
Recommendation: This lovely mama is a very talented weaver, and I would recommend her wraps to anyone looking to try a well-made, Canadian handwoven.

Mar 27, 2015

Woven Alabama Purple Bananas (Size 6)

I found this wrap on the swap while searching for affordable handwovens and purchased it from a lovely mama in B.C. It was my first experience with twill in a handwoven, and I was expecting a fatty fat wrap.

I was not disappointed! This wrap was so fat she had to put it in a grocery bag as the second layer of protection when shipping, as it did not fit in a ziploc.

It was soft and stretchy, I put my littlest up in a quick DH to try it out and this wrap was like pillows on my shoulders. The colours of this wrap were so vibrant. I wasn't sure at first if I would like them, but they somehow worked together. The custom mama who created it said these were her little one's favourite colours. The tails had a tartan accent on them, which I really enjoyed.

We used this wrap as our main long walk / double hammock wrap for awhile. I wasn't as fond of the stretch of this twill in a fwcc, I found it got a bit saggy after awhile. For whatever reason, the stretch really worked in a dh though. 

The boys had many a snuggle in this wrap, as it was very soft and comfortable. I traded it for a DISO, and miss the cush of this straight twill, which I haven't found replicated yet.

The Verdict:
Pros: Crazy cush, nice stretch, small amount of grip.
Cons: Saggy in some carries unless tightened well.
Recommendation: If you are looking for cush, here it is. Jessica is an awesome weaver, and I would recommend trying out her wraps if you are looking for a cozy handwoven that won't break the bank!

Mar 20, 2015

Girasol Northern Lights Ring Sling

I bought a used Girasol Northern Lights ring sling off of a mama on our local BST page when I was looking for something small to put in the diaper bag. It was my first Gira experience, and I was pleasantly surprised. The wrap was a very beautiful mix of colours, and the pleated shoulder done by SewFunky was very comfortable, even with my 20lb chunker of a baby.

The wrap was fairly thin, but I still found it nicely supportive for the quick trips we used this carrier for. The only issue I had with this wrap was that it was prone to pulls. The nature of the wrap made them easy to fix, but this drove me a bit nuts. I ended up selling this sling to fund something else, but we really enjoyed it while we owned it.

The Verdict:
Pros: Thin, supportive, beautiful, affordable
Cons: Pull prone
Recommendation: This is a great ring sling (as are most giras), and I would recommend it to anyone looking for something small to put in their diaper bag etc. or for on the go.

Mar 13, 2015

Alison Addicks - Winter Sunset (Size 6)

I was late-night cruising Etsy one night and came across a new shop of a woman named Alison Addicks, who was offering custom handwoven wraps for sale. I emailed her immediately and put down a deposit the next morning. I found a sunset photo that looked very similar to the colours of a Newfoundland flag, and decided to use this as my inspiration for colour. I was offered a couple of choices, and picked a colour grad with five colours, navy, yellow, white, light blue and a deep orange-red.

Alison was great with communication and told me my slot date was in February, which was about a month away at that point. She sent me a wound sample card in the mail to show me what the colours I had chose looked like IRL and suggested that I choose a navy blue weft to make the colours pop more, which I agreed to. I chose a length of 4.5m, which is approximately my base size.

Once she began working on my wrap, she kept me up to date the whole time and sent beautiful photos of the wrap on the loom to keep me excited while I waited. She wove the wrap quickly, and also created a sister piece without the navy blue edges, which another mama later had turned into a ring sling.

I received this wrap quickly once ready, and was so pleased at how soft the material was when it arrived. She had a simple tag middle marker, and the wrap was ready to wear right away. It was thicker in hand than most of what I had tried up to this point, but I had no issues wrapping with it right away. It is an incredibly supportive wrap, a bit thicker in hand than UppyMamas I have tried, and a little bit less stretch than them also. I had it made 30 inches wide for my large guys, and it does not disappoint. I comfortably carried my 3.5 year old in our snowsuits in a ruck tt for 20 minutes this winter.

This is my only truly permastash wrap at this time. Alison's weaving is wonderful, the selvedges are lovely, and I had a wonderful experience working with her on this. I love the tiny pinstripe detail she made between the grad colours. Everything about this wrap is my jam.

The Verdict:
Pros: Wide, lovely, one of a kind, supportive
Cons: Difficult to find - Alison is no longer in the business of creating baby wraps, so the second-hand market is the only place you will find these beauties.
Recommendation: I have seen some of these going for around $350 on the swaps lately, which is near retail. This is a wrap that lives up to the hype, and if you see one - snap it up!

Mar 9, 2015

Natibaby SweetPlace Merino Wool Blend (Size 6)

For a long time I was scared of blends, mostly due to the beastly linen blend Natibaby Nature of America experience I had as a new wrapper ( I stuck with cotton because it was a sure thing.

However, an awesome sale from Tadpoles and Butterflies led me to purchase my first wool blend wrap, a Natibaby Sweetplace merino blend in orange (one of my fave colours). It arrived quickly, and was so soft, straight out of the box. I handwashed it and laid flat to dry, then made a hammock out of it to break it in some. From that first hammock I understood the bounce of wool that was so highly raved about on message boards and Facebook. It was such a comfortable seat for me.

It also made a great stroller blanket :)
I took it out for a spin on a longer walk while front wearing with my youngest, who was about 25lb at the time. It was very comfortable, though it had a bit more support than I like for a front carry. I tend to like stretch for front wearing, and support for back wearing, as it is easier to adjust in a front carry. Regardless, I really enjoyed our first long outing in this wrap. It was so soft and not at all woolly feeling.

Where this wrap really shone was for back carries. It was super supportive in multi-pass carries, such as double hammock, and made for a great extra layer of warmth for our cold winter. I didn't try many single-layer carries with it for long periods, as I owned it in a size 6, but I imagine it would have been pretty great in a ruck tied tibetan also.
Messy DH but happy baby
The Verdict:
Pros: Super soft, affordable, supportive
Cons: Handwash (Natibaby website says you can machine wash, but I wouldn't machine wash wool)
Recommendation: Don't let the wool scare you. It is so cozy and soft, the extra two minutes of effort and waiting for it to lay flat to dry are so worth the benefits of this awesome fibre. Natibaby wool is one of the softest wool wraps I have ever tried. You should try one!