So I have been telling you to SAVE ALL YOUR YOUR WOOL SCRAPS for a cool project.
Have you ever used a dryer ball or even heard about wool dryer balls?
Last year I stopped into a cute, quaint little shop of handmade organic items, and they were selling sets of dryer balls. I was intrigued for a few reasons.
- First, they were made of 100% wool yarn (you know how I love wool stuff).
- Second, because they had scented the balls with lavender oil (another one of my loves).
- Third, I love the idea of saving time, money and avoiding chemicals whenever possible.
I bought a set of four very small balls, which cost me like $18.00.
I was excited to go home and do some laundry and give them a spin. After doing a little research, I found out that the more balls you have, the faster and more effective they are. I just had four small balls, which I could tell a big difference in drying time, but not much with the static thing. I noticed the more balls I had the better it did with static. I now use 6-10 balls. Small loads do fine with just four.
I went out and bought a few scanes of 100% wool yarn and made a few more. I soon found out that it took a lot of expensive yarn to make these babies. Now I know why they are not cheap to buy. I got thinking and came up with this great solution, wool sweater scraps! Using the scraps saves you a TON of yarn. I was able to make double or even triple the amount of balls using the scraps as the center portion.
Before I go into how to make the dryer balls, I want to share the benefits and purpose of using them.
- No chemicals, perfumes, unnatural additives that are in dryer sheets.( This is just one of the many articles found telling how dangerous these sheets really are).
- They pull the moisture out of your
clothes so you don’t have to run your dryer as long, saving you time and
- They reduce static, not totally but do a pretty good job.
- They soften your clothes by the gentle friction of the felted wool fibers against your clothing fibers.
- I have heard they are FABULOUS for cloth diapers! They keep them soft and
clean without the harmful chemicals in conventional dryer sheets.
- Lower energy bills!
Here is the scoop on how to make these fuzzy little laundry buddies. It is EASY PEASY!
All you need is:
- skein of 100% wool yarn (NOT wool labeled “superwash” or “machine washable”)
- blunt-tipped needle or crochet hook
- string or cotton/acrylic yarn (to secure the wool ball in the pantyhose)
|Use 100% wool yarn. Do not buy yarn that says “machine washable” or “superwash” they will not felt. (shrink)|
|Gather up a hand full of 100% wool sweater scraps.|
|Scrunch them up into a little tight wad. Take the yarn and start wrapping it tightly around the scraps.|
|Keep wrapping, moving the ball around to get an even wrap.|
|Once the ball is to the size you would like, (I like to make them the size of a tennis ball) cut the yarn.|
|Stick a crochet hook into the ball, attach the yarn and pull it through. This will keep the ball from unraveling in the felting process.|
|After you have made a few balls, stick them into the toe of a nylon stocking.|
|Tye tightly in between each ball with string, or cotton/acrylic yarn. (Don’t use wool yarn or it
will felt around the pantyhose.) Tie off the end.
|Throw the yarn ball caterpillar into the wash with a load of towels. Use the hottest setting possible in the washer and dryer.|
Remove balls from pantyhose. Some types of wool
yarn will not felt well on the first try. You may need to repeat the
washing and drying cycles up to 3 or 4 times. You’ll know felting has
occurred when you can gently scrape your fingernail over the ball and
strands do not separate.
I just keep my dryer balls in the dryer, or you can store them in a basket on top of your dryer.
If you want to lightly scent your laundry and make your clothes smell yummy, you can add 1-2 drops of
your favorite essential oil to each ball before throwing in the dryer. You will not have a problem with the oil staining your clothes if you are using a high quality essential oils.
*Just a tip: You might find you are missing a few balls here and there. Check your fitted sheets or sometimes they fall out of the dryer when you are pulling the clothes out. My dog loves standing by when I am unloading the laundry, he thinks it game time!
A set of these laundry balls, make a great gift!