Do you prefer to tie off a carry at the shoulder instead of around the waist? It is a wonderful variation to almost any carry! It can be fun to change-up a favourite carry and with the summer heat, it is also a nice alternative to have your waist free of a waist belt. It is a great option for those that own a short wrap – a.k.a. shorties – and wish to have a “poppable” carry like a ring sling carry. Simply use your shorty in a traditional hip carry which is similar to a ring sling carry but with a knot instead of rings! If you are just starting out, you can tie off using a simple square knot. It can be a little finicky to tighten any slack when tying off using a standard square knot. However, it can definitely be done, but make sure you tighten everything up adjust the carry before tying off. If you are up to the challenge, a sliding knot (a.k.a. in the wrapping world as a babywearing slip knot) is so much easier for adjusting and very versatile to the carry being a “poppable” carry. If you have never done a sliding knot before, it is quite easy once you get the hang of it!
Step One: Begin with one tail of fabric over one shoulder and the other tail of fabric under the opposite arm. Line up your fabric so that the tail under the armpit is slightly longer than the tail of fabric coming over the shoulder.
TIP: A good starting point is the the tail of fabric over your shoulder not be longer than what you feel comfortable with wearing as a tail in a finished carry. A rule of thumb is no longer than mid-thigh as it can be a potential tripping hazard 🙂 If you start out mid-thigh, the finished carry should probably be just an inch shorter.
TIP: The tail of fabric that comes over the shoulder will always remain stationary. It really does not move. You will be moving the tail that comes under the opposite arm. Moving forward, we will refer to the tail of fabric over the shoulder as the “stationary tail” and the tail of fabric under the armpit as the “moving tail”. We find this creates more of a visual understanding on where the tails are placed at each step.
Step Two: Bring your moving tail across your chest and over the vertical tail – essentially making a “X” or a “L” if looking at the cross and above. Bring the moving tail under the stationary tail and then up, making a half knot. The moving tail should move upwards and not downwards.
Step Three: Move your half knot up towards your shoulder that will bear the knot. Think of a ring sling and the knot will be take place of where the rings are in a ring sling carry. Typically, it is worn in the “corsage” position but this is subjective. Place the knot where you will find it the most comfortable. For some, this may be higher and for some this may be lower. You can always move it later!
Step Four: Bring the moving tail down. This means it will actually cross over top of itself as you bring it down. Make a “D” for Didy as you bring it down and move the bottom of the “D” under the stationary tail.
TIP: You are doing great! Take a breath and check that you have a “D”. Standing in front of a mirror is a great idea at this point. All good? Let’s proceed!
Step Five: The moving tail is travelling under and then over the stationary tail. Now grasp the tail and bring it through the “D”! To re-cap – You have made your “D” with the moving tail. The bottom of the D travels under and then over the stationary tail and then through the opening of the “D”.
TIP: It may help to keep one hand on the stationary tail and use the opposite hand as your working hand – the hand that creates the “D” also grasps the tail to bring it through the “D”.
Step Six: Holding the stationary tail in place, pull the moving tail upwards to tighten.
TIP: Sometimes the fabric can bulk up or gather within the knot. Simply manueveur the fabric in the knot before completing the tightening.
Step Seven: To move the knot upwards and thus make the pocket of the carry smaller/tighter, hold the stationary tail in one hand and slide the knot upwards. To move the knot downwards and thus make the pocket of the carry bigger/looser, hold the stationary tail in one hand and slide the knot downwards.
TIP: Once baby is in the pocket and you have slid your knot to your desired position but you are still finding some slack in the pocket, you can adjust the slack out by tightening the moving tail. Start at pocket where it meets the inside bottom of the knot and bring all slack from the top edge towards the outside top of the knot. This means you will be sliding the slack along your chest, under your arm and across your back and then up to the top of the knot at the shoulder. Holding the slack at the top of the knot, find the corresponding fabric edge on your stationary tail and pull to tighten. You should feel that slack tighten through the knot. Repeat for any middle slack or bottom edge slack too! Switch hands if necessary, always keeping one hand on baby!