Sunday, January 22, 2017

Firespiral winter hill

Who's on the firespiral train?! I may be late to get on this, but wth the arrival of  copper octarine winter hill, I'm wondering what other glories I'm missing! Light on hand (245gsm) and big on bounce (50/50 hemp/cotton) with a plush, silky texture, this FiSpi is just a bit special. 

The colors pretty much glow. Dark, rich violet-toned navy contrasted with a luminous coppery red, and while I've never been draped this is the kind of wrap that makes me wish I knew a bit more about color theory. 

The jacquard weave is flattish and offers a nice amount of grip - enough to hold second passes nicely, but not enough that getting them spread is difficult. Hemp is like a heavenly cloud of cush on the shoulders and forgives sloppy wrap jobs (phew!). I never needed to retighten (I tend to wrap hemp reallllllly snugly, as it is a bit elastic) and the support of this wrap was just astounding for it's weight.

This has worked beautifully for us on a variety of carries - a quick ruck heading uphill from the lake, a double hammock that needed to finish a hike, and even a fwcc (no mean feat with 18kgs!) when sleep eluded us in a new house one night. I can't speak to the breaking-in of the great hemp, since this came to me after testers, but persevering with your hemp (heat, ironing, twisting and hammocking!) is DEFINITELY worth it! Congrats, Firespiral. Winter hill is glorious and we love it.

West of the 4th Accessible line!

When Nancy contacted me to say that West of the 4th were going to offer an accessible line of machine woven wraps alongside their custom and handwoven offerings, my first response was YESSSSSSS - and the results have been amazing. "New Beginnings" was my first encounter and if she hadn't told me it was machine woven I would have second guessed it. 

This has quickly become one of my favorite teaching and lending wraps - the rainbow makes it the perfect learner, but the plain weave, easy care cotton and floppiness straight from the box make it a wonderfully simple to use wrap. Rails are hemmed very finely which helps alleviate the "stretch" which can confound when wrapping with a looser sett wrap. 

As you can see, it's a rockstar in a variety of carries. Nails a ruck, feels great on the shoulders, never balks a reinforcing pass.  
Another year, another accessible to try! "Dusk" is a stunning monochrome grad and it's become my car wrap - the reliable, not too short, not too long size four that lets me ruck, fwcc tied in front, and - if I'm careful- dH tied at shoulder. 
It has the same reliability and versatility I really prize - flat and floppy in hand, easy to spread reinforcing passes, a good sense of give making a seat but no sagginess.  
Dusk tips the scales at approx 270 gsm and about 70 cms wide - plenty for a good seat even with a four-year-old!
What's my verdict? Perfect for newborn and weathering heavier weights beautifully, an accessible wrap will get you through your babywearing career in easycare cotton and plenty of comfort.