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!

Mar 5, 2015

Pavo Plume (Size 5)

I read a lot of reviews online and through Facebook, and had seen many amazing things said about a relatively new company (at the time) Pavo Textiles. I perused their website and was excited to see a size 5 Pavo Plume available for sale, so I scooped it up. Usually, most colourways and patterns of these wraps are sold out within seconds of being added to the site, so I was excited to be able to try one.

I received the wrap with a lovely tote bag from Pavo on the same day a custom handwoven arrived... one of my most epic fluffy mail days ever.
Epic fluffy mail day 
While waiting for it to arrive, someone pointed out on a chat board that the pattern reminded her of big blue vaginas. You can't unsee that. So, I affectionately referred to this as my lady bits wrap.

Out of the bag, this thing was burlap. No, cardboard. Cardboard mixed with burlap overlaid by burnt toast. It was beastly. I washed it according to directions and tried it out. It was certainly very supportive, and I could see right away the amazing stretch that people had been raving about. However, I found it very difficult to get a nice chest pass or to make my passes land in the right spot because of the grip.

I spent a couple weeks dragging this through rings, braiding it, and hammocking with it. It began to get much more malleable, and I began liking it a lot more. I took my two and a half year old for a spin in it also, and found the support to be great even for a heavier child.

However, the grip was a bit too much for my liking, and it was a bit too thick for a long wrap for us, so it moved along to another home. I've tried many Pavos since this first one, and have found the grip and weight of them to be too much for us, so perhaps we just aren't Pavo people.

Horrible chest passes
The Verdict:
Pros: Beautiful, great diagonal stretch, great support
Cons: Beastly to break in, difficult to obtain new
Recommendation: If you like thickness, support, and grip, you should try out a Pavo. If not, maybe Pavo isn't for you. I've felt a couple of their newer blends that had much less texture including some of the menagerie line, but I still haven't found the Pavo love.