Winter Wovenland 12th November 2016
What a great day! I just got home from the Winter Wovenland pop-up shop event in Manchester, organised as a collaboration between Firespiral, Baie and Little Fellows. We travelled up from south Somerset and I confess that the trip didn't start fortuitously. What should have been about a four-hour journey took seven, and our poor little toddle-man got travel sick. We arrived at the hotel last night covered in vomit and wondering whether the trip up north was really worth it. Well, I'm pleased to say it was!
We arrived outside the venue and spotted a group of familiar faces from various Facebook babywearing groups, who I'd never had the chance to meet in person before. While I immersed myself in wrap geekery (this looks like running around like an over-excited puppy to the untrained eye), Mr Wrapping Years embarked on a mission to consume his body weight in coffee and cake, and our little man, fully recovered from his journey, set out to meet his babyworn peers and steal as many biscuits as possible.
The Goody Bags
The Early Bird ticket holders were greeted with a lovely goody bag printed with the Firespiral Midwinter design, containing a hoard of treats from the three companies; a Firespiral wrap lanyard & zip pouch (which Hubs has already commandeered for his iPad!), a Little Fellows woven tea towel, and Baie mirror and wrap decoration / tag (mine will be gracing the tree this Yule!). We also got a sample of the new wrap fabric from The Honeycomb Loom, which is available to buy by the metre for all your babywearing (or other!) projects. The fabric feels light, soft & thin.
The three companies had each created exclusive wraps for the event. You can read more about the Firespiral and Baie exclusives (Firespiral Blue Prism Obsidian Charter's Moss & Belmont Octarine Winter Hill, and Baie Element Forest Floor & Sidonia Snowflake) on the Firespiral blog. All were just as beautiful in reality as they look in the photos.
This Little Fellows exclusive, Space Monster has a hand-dyed silk warp and hand-dyed cotton weft, and is woven in their heart twill weave. With sparkles woven into the tails and middle marker it's an absolute beauty. I spent ages trying to take a photograph that did it justice and failed miserably. The subtle colours, sparkles and complex texture are impossible to capture, but the drape and diagonal stretch are unmistakable. I'll bet this one wraps like a bandage.
Firespiral Unreleased Wraps
I gravitated towards the rail containing the four as yet unreleased Firespiral wraps (photographed above), and can report that we certainly have some exciting things to look forward to! Here we go from left to right:
Circe Octarine Charter's Moss
I'm told that this is a quad blend of 67% cotton, 17% hemp, 13% viscose & 3% linen. It feels thin, light, soft and very airy (almost certainly Alchemy weave). It's lovely and floppy and I anticipate that it's going to be one of those wraps that can work from squish to pre-schooler. It looks fab with a lovely striped appearance. We don't have long to wait as it's apparently being released 3rd December.
Elysian Cirrus Seafoam
We've seen a couple of Elysian testers floating around so it was lovely to be able to stroke this in person! It's a blend of 10% Viscose, 2.5% linen and 87.5% cotton and is the kind of kitten belly soft that makes you want to stroke your face with it! This is going to make a wonderful wrap for a new baby and will be a fab choice for any new wrappers. It feels thin-medium weight and is apparently due for release in early 2017.
Swell Octarine Seafoam
Swell Octarine Seafoam is a tri-blend of 65% combed cotton, 20% Merino and 15% linen. It feels really cushy, soft & fluffy and is probably somewhere in the heavy weight range. There's a gorgeous depth to the colour of the weft, which seems to feature at least two different colour threads.
Blizzard Aqua Midwinter
I wished for a new Midwinter and I got one! I'm told that this one's 25% Merino wool & 75% cotton. At first glance it looks similar to Delph Aqua Charter's Moss colours but, having compared the two, the grey is actually quite a bit paler than Delph. It's a really subtle, delicate colourway. It feels lovely and soft with no wool itch at all (I spent ages stroking it!). Medium weight to be released 3rd December.
The People & the Cake!
The highlight of the day was definitely meeting all the lovely people from the Facebook groups, and the wrap companies themselves, in person. The wrapping community is awesome and it's wonderful to convert online friends into real life ones.
Like most people, I came away with some treasures including a stunning Baie hemp blend in plush weave which I'm really looking forward to trying out. Look out for a review of that one soon! I'm also extremely excited about reviewing a Little Fellows woven wrap in the not too distant future.
The specially commissioned cakes by local baker Aunt Sponge were unsurprising decimated by the time I pulled myself away from the wraps to indulge in a piece! My husband claims complete ignorance...