Monday, December 29, 2014

Joy and Joe - the luxe version! A quick review and a GIVEAWAY!

Hold onto your hats. We're finishing 2014 in style - Joy and Joe are sending out a size 6 cashmere/merino/egyptian cotton maxi roses luxe to one of YOU. Retailing at £175, this tri-blend is fantastic choice for winter, in rich reds and dulcet ivory.

The exact blend is premium grade red cashmere 25%, merino-wool 25% and Egyptian cotton 50% ... sound luxe yet? Wool is wonderful for newborns right through to toddlers, and having had a Joy and Joe woollie here, I can vouch for their softness and cushy support.

Maxi Luxe tips the scales at 285gsm and is 66cms wide, similar to early Pavos (Penumbra) and a lot of Didymos Indios - great for beginning wrappers who can find themselves a bit overwhelmed by wider wraps like Diva Milanos or Kokadi.

While I haven't stuck my claws in one of these yet, the fibre blend plus weave structure (roses are given texture with an embossed twill, background is plain single weave) suggests this will be airy and passes will not have a lot of grip. Please remember it will need hand washing as wool doesn't take kindly to agitation! I believe there may be something of a sale on at the minute... (check Joy and Joe's Facebook), but if you want one for free just find the photo on my Facebook and leave a comment to enter!

Please note that I have not been paid to write this review. Any and all opinions expressed are my own. 

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Yaro slings - review

Yaro Slings is the budget version of Solnce, (49€ or about $75 aud!) and after playing with this lovely, I think I'm going to start recommending them as one of my favorite beginner-friendly wraps.

 The only thing it's missing is a teaching rail to help new wrappers avoid getting their wrap in a twist.

 Aesthetically, I love it. Calm, gender-neutral, not fussy or busy. This is a thin wrap (around 230 gsm) with a tiny knot and I did think it might be a stretch with 34lbs/14kgs on board, but no. 

I think the easy crumple and lightweight weave make it FEEL like a wrap suitable for newborns, and with very little grip, there's no fighting required with passes. 

I took it to a meet on Friday and this was the perfect wrap to help a mama with a 7lb 4wo wrap for the first time- she got a sleek FWCC wih bunched passes that sat snugly and won't fry anyone in our scorching Aussie summer. It's also a great wrap for multi-pass carries - a DH was easy to tighten strand by strand and I got the most impeccably smooth chest pass (of course, while out and camera-less...).

 Love it and VERY pleased to be offering one size 6 to help you start your stash or enable someone else's! The post to comment on is on my Facebook page - Just look for the Yaro pic! 

Edited to add: here we are again now that Audrey is nearly 16kgs and 3.5yo. 

This all-cotton has been loaned out many times and it's still a comfortable and sleek wrap job with my bigger kid ;) passes are easy to maneuver and the lightweight weave has proven itself beginner-friendly many times. 
Winner winner. 

Please note that I have not been paid to write this review. Any and all opinions expressed are my own. 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

Silver Lining Slings; Pipe Dreams Kabocha - Review and GIVEAWAY!

Silver Lining Slings is a North Carolina wrap company established in 2013 by mother Sonia Parrella. Together with designer Claire Stanhope, they're producing slings with a clean stylistic aesthetic that appeals as much to baby wearing dads as to mothers - and with some neat experimental fibres, like the silverspun that is ACTUALLY silver and naturally antibacterial. They have some neat goals and ideals, like staying sustainable, being committed to paying it forward and supporting charitable organisations, utilising local industry and promoting the benefits of babywearing in all its forms and variations, not just the ones that use a whopping piece of their (beautiful) fabric. I'm all about grassroots and education, so a company that's pushing THESE goals - brilliant. Ok. Their wraps.

Packaging is divine. Wrapped in printed furoshiki and including comprehensive instructions, this is delicious to unwrap. Audrey promptly commandeered our furoshiki and has declared she'd like a dress made from it, so thank you for your furoshiki design, Emily Sanford!

While the wraps I have in hand are all-cotton, they are marshmallowy and delicious with just a little washing and wearing; the color contrast is clean and sharp, and yes - my husband had NO reservations about grabbing "that orange one!" when heading out of the house with Audrey.

 Weighing in at about 280gsm, Pipe Dream Kabocha (you can see others from the collection here) is a medium wrap that wraps true to size and has a nice amount of grip. 

I played around with some sling rings and was really happy with its mouldability and density - enough cush to ruck Audrey with, but not so much that I overwhelmed an 8kg demo doll in a BWCC with fancy ring finish :) 

We road tested a variety of carries - and with a 15kg/34lb toddler this stood up very well in FCC, FWCC, DH, and plain ole' ruck, rocking to sleep, cuddling away a bump, and hiking through the shops.

Wrapping a multilayer carry I found that the flat blocks in the pattern let Pipe Dream's passes slide pretty well. It's a nice fusion of visual aesthetic and textile function. 

Happily, I have a Pipe Dreams Kabocha to give away - one size 6 wrapped beautifully in its furoshiki (I hid it from Audrey!) ready to roll up to your doorstep - maybe even in time for Christmas!

Please note that I have not been paid to write this review. Any and all opinions expressed are my own. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Solnce - Genesis Moonshine Review and... GIVEAWAY!

Over in the Netherlands, Olga Shevchenko is doing beautiful things with fibres. Her luxury range of Solnce wraps and slings comprise textile art, practicality, form and function. 

 Solnce archives reveals fibres as diverse as tussah silk, cashmere, mulberry silk, camel wool, merino, baby alpaca, diverse linens and cottons.

Of course, after I whipped myself into a lather of excitement over these beauties, I was delighted to open a box from Olga and pull out the glorious Genesis Moonshine. 

This is a tri-weave that's 80% Egyptian cotton, 20% linen. From the bag it felt reasonably thick, coarse and weighty. However, once unfolded,  I could see that 'thickness' was a result of texture and the way the ecru linen lifted against the cotton; the visual 'pop' is stunning and I threw it in the wash expecting great things.

I wasn't disappointed. Just hanging this out after a wash it felt different in hand; the pattern lifted even more but felt much more flexible and ready for use. Wrapping a heavier toddler/child, I like a wrap with texture that locks passes in place. No disappointment here. 

Wrapped against bare skin for the first time, this was... Exfoliating? The texture has quickly settled down with a quick iron (I am NOT an iron-er!) and translates into generous cush and unbelievable support. 

After a couple days use, we've road tested a variety of front and back carries with both Audrey (now about 30lbs) and a weighted doll (about 20lbs)- FWCC of course, FCC, DH with some different finishes and BWCC.

 Much like Pavo's Farrand and Sparkleberry, this is a work of textile art with wonderful wrapping qualities. Great give, wonderful cush, rock solid support and a stunning visual aesthetic.

The fibre blend (linen/Egyptian cotton) is grippy and breathable, and would make a wonderful shortie. 
I am utterly delighted to be able to give away one of these gorgeous boutique wraps in size 6 - to score a Solnce Genesis Moonshine simply make friends with the widget!

  a Rafflecopter giveaway

Please note that I have not been paid to write this review. Any and all opinions expressed are my own.