Thursday, February 19, 2009

I made dryer balls!

Knit Bits Meme

Lately I have been faced with two dilemmas (among many, but let's just focus on these for the sake of this post):
1. I have left over, strange amounts of yarn that I don't know what to do with,
2. I have serious static in my dryer (we don't use dryer sheets and I recently found out the blue dryer balls we were using are made of PVC and therefore not going back in my dryer!)

My solution? Homemade wool dryer balls! I have heard from many people lately that they simply swear by them to not only reduce static, but soften their clothes and reduce drying times as well! So, I dug out my leftover stash and went to work! They are incredibly simple to make with a little bit of time and a good grip (I will explain in a moment!).

Left over wool yarn from other projects

1. Wrap your 100% wool yarn of choice into a tight ball- we are talkin' tight here! As tight as you can make it! The tighter the better (this is where the grip issue comes in- when the ball is very small it has a tendency to pop out of your fingers and unravel- no fun!)!

Wrapping a Tight Ball

2. Once you have wrapped to about the size of a golf ball you have made your core, which should be felted on it's own for the best results. Take the end of the yarn and wrap it into the ball with a small crochet hook to secure it.

Securing the end of the yarn

3. Place the ball into the end of an old nylon or sock and put a tie of non-wool yarn or string just past it to insure that it does not fall out and unravel. If you are making more than one ball tie in between each.

Balls tied in nylon

4. Throw the ball(s) into the washer with a load of clothes (preferably a hot wash) and follow up with a tumble through the dryer. This process can be repeated as many times as you like to acquire the desired level of felting. The more times you wash and dry the more firm and dense the ball will become.

Balls in washer

5. Once your core is sufficiently felted it is time to add on your outer layer. Just begin to wind more string (tightly, once again) onto your core until it reaches about the size of a tennis ball (generally around 9 in. in circumference) but make sure that you allow for some shrinkage in the felting process.
Starting to wind more yarn onto felted core

6. Repeat steps 2-4 and voila'- you have just made your very own dryer balls! Throw them in with each load of laundry for the softest clothes you've probably ever had! Generally speaking, the more balls in the dryer the better! So, go get busy with this fun and simple way to go green, reuse and be frugal!
Meme Note:

If you have a clever use for leftover yarn, or you blog about making your own dryer balls, I would love for you to be a part of this Knit Bits Meme! Simply leave a link directly to your post in a comment (not to just your general blog, but the specific post itself) and then we can all share in the fun together. Make sure to add the Knit Bits Button to your post too!

Soon I hope to get a Mr. Linky up and working for these memes, but until then linked comments will have to work! I look forward to seeing what you all come up with!


Heather B said...

How cool! I understand the issue with PVC, but can you explain why you don't use dryer sheets? Just wondering. Thanks!

christina said...

What a fantastic idea!! I have been having the same issue. No dryer sheets or balls but lots a static.

Btw found my way here through mothering's ddc!

FWIW I don't use dryer sheets simply to reduce my waste and to be frugal.

Kathleen said...

That's so cool! I'm going to make some of my own soon.

I'm going to link to your post during Green and Clean week on my blog next week, if you don't mind.

Montana Mama said...

That's awesome! I hope it makes my prefolds nice and soft! I'll have to get out my yarn scraps and get busy! :)

jd said...

looking forward to making some of my own. thanks so much for this helpful tutorial.

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