Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Review: Weave Me a Sheep Avalon

Brand: Weave Me a Sheep
Type: Avalon
Blend: 100% organic cotton
Size: 3.8m
 This beautiful handwoven wrap is visiting us for a week or so. It is woven by a newcomer to the handwoven wrap scene, my lovely friend Helen from Weave Me Sheep. This is one of her first woven wraps, and was created for a competition in a Facebook group. The design takes inspiration from Glastonbury Tor.
I was really intrigued to try this wrap, and was very excited when a friend passed it onto me at a sling meet last week. The first thing that struck me was that this didn't look like the work of a novice. It is beautifully woven, and I'm really impressed with how perfect it is! The the edges are amazingly straight, and I haven't spotted any flaws in the weave. In hand, Avalon is soft and floppy, with some stretch to it. 
I've played with it quite extensively over the last few days and have tried front, back and hip carries, in both single and double layers. Overall, I prefer it in a double layer carry with my huge 2 year old, but it would definitely be supportive enough in a single-layer with a smaller child. I've found it easy to wrap with, and easy to pull the passes across. I have a personal preference for hemmed edges on a handwoven, as I find it easier to tighten the top rail when I have a hemmed edge to pull across. Avalon is un-hemmed and I always seemed to have a little slack in the top rail (and Joey managed to pop the seat once due to the stretchiness of the bottom rail). However, I know others prefer the edges un-hemmed on a handwoven, so this is really personal preference. 
I really adore the colours, and the overall look of the design. I have to admit that I will genuinely feel really sad about sending it on. I hope the next person enjoys it as much as we have! I can confidently say that Weave Me a Sheep is one to watch!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Review: Diva Milano Essenza (tester)

Brand: Diva Milano
Type: Essenza Lilla
Size: 6
Blend: 100% cotton

This beautiful tester wrap is currently travelling around the country, and I was delighted that it was able to stay with me for a couple of weeks. I've never tried a Diva Milano wrap before, so had no prior expectations for this wrap.
My immediate reaction on first seeing the wrap was that is was a very classy pattern and really pretty colour. On first holding the wrap, I was surprised at how robust it felt, especially for 100% cotton. The sophisticated appearance of the wrap made me think that it would be light and delicate to touch, but it is actually a very sturdy cotton, feeling medium-thick, and has a texture which actually reminds me of a hemp blend wrap. Despite having been thoroughly tested by a variety of people before me, it still looks in beautiful condition, with no obvious pulls or flaws.
Having already been to about 5 other people before it arrived here, this wrap is now feeling pretty soft and mouldable, although I understand from previous testers that it was quite beastly to begin with. The first carry I tried was a double hammock, and I have to admit that it took me a little longer than usual to pull all the slack across, as the wrap felt quite grippy. However, when I had the wrap securely in place, I was delighted to find that it was incredibly comfortable. It held in place perfectly, and even after a while with my large 2 year old, I was still comfortable and the wrap had not sagged at all.
I tried several other carries, including a FWCC, which was easy to adjust, and was also very comfortable when in place. I don't always find a FWCC comfortable for extended periods now that my son is so big, but the grippiness held this wrap in place beautifully, even as Joey had a nap.
I have to admit to being pleasantly surprised by this wrap. Despite the fact that I had never tried a Diva Milano wrap before, and therefore had no expectations in that way, I think I've always seen the delicate, sophisticated designs on Diva Milano wraps as something I would be nervous about using on an everyday basis, with the worry that the wrap would also be delicate. I have to admit though, that I would happily use this wrap anywhere, as it feels so sturdy I wouldn't worry about pulling it through the mud and having to wash it repeatedly! Now that is is broken in, this would make a wonderful birth to toddler wrap. It is available in a variety of different colour combinations, and is part of Diva Milano's Essenza range, which is their more affordable range of slings.
This lovely wrap will now continue on its travels.