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.