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.