Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Another Take on Wool Dryer Balls

Last fall I saw a post Monica at The Homespun Heart had done about making wool dryer balls to take the place of fabric softeners. I let the idea sit for a while, then started one ball and quickly ran out of the only wool yarn I had on hand. But a couple months ago I wondered if I could use strips of felted wool knotted together for the same effect. I started with a piece of felted wool that was originally a sweater and later sewn into a decorative pillow cover.

I started with my little ball made from the wool yarn, about 2" in diameter.

Then I cut several strips of the felted wool into a 1" x 11" size. I used my Olfa mat and cutter, but precision is not important to this project so you could easily do this by hand. I ended up using about twenty strips for two of these balls.

Then I just started tying strips snugly around the yarn ball and continued to do that in a random way until all the grey yarn was concealed, with strips overlapping and intertwining with one another, so it wouldn't be likely to unravel in the washer or dryer. I used about 10 of the strips around the grey yarn ball and it ended up like this.

With the remaining strips I just tied them together around the center and each strip ended up with more of an exposed tail. After these were made I just threw them in the wash with a regular load and then into the dryer with that load. Now I just keep them in the dryer all the time as they seem to absorb some of the moisture from the wet laundry to speed drying just a bit. They also seem to add a little more loft to some of the items you launder which can get matted and lumpy with machine laundering. And I haven't noticed any static cling since I started using them. On the first few dryer cycles I did notice more red lint in the lint screen, but that is no longer an issue.

Overall, this was a quick and easy project and I'm pleased with the results. And as an added bonus, it was all free for the doing.


thehomespunheart said...

Hi Rachel!

I love what you came up with - I'm so glad it worked and even better - that it was FREE! That resourcefulness is so wonderful! Have a great day,

mer@lifeat7000feet said...

That is so intriguing. I just read Monica's post and I would LOVE to try this. I think I'll need to buy some wool yarn since I have nothing remotely close that I could improvise with. Would you mind if I link to this post sometime??

Carpoolqueen said...

Here from Mer's page. So you just throw it in the dryer? You don't soak it in bounce or anything?

IdahoAngie said...

Another thing that works if you want to have some help in the drying of clothes in the dryer. Is throw in a dry clean hand towel with the load. We have been doing this for years.