Monday, July 23, 2012

Felted Dryer Balls

Some friends of mine introduced me to felted dryer balls and showed me how they had made some. The dryer balls are used in the dryer instead of fabric softener sheets. Supposedly they can save your drying time by up to 25% by placing 3 or 4 of them in the dryer with your load of wet clothes. They will separate the clothes, wick moisture from the clothes and reduce static. Since I had some Lopi yarn I started my adventure. I just wound the yarn into tight balls and stuck them into nylon stockings. The balls weighed between 2.5 and 3 oz. Here you can see the upper left orange ball before putting into the stockings. The upper right ball is in a single anklet hose. The bottom 2 are both in the same stocking tied in a knot in between.

Then I found some fleece in the basement which I will never use. It has never been carded, so I finally found my hand carders and my carder. The carder has not been used for over 10 years, so the band working around the wheels was broken. Forget that and go to the hand carders. I honestly don't know which method I used to make this ball. One of them was just a ball of the roving I made with the hand carders which I fastened by winding acrylic yarn around to secure. That one I just threw in the washer without putting into a stocking. A second one was a small ball of the orange yarn at the center with roving wrapped around it and put into a stocking.

Into the washing machine with hot water and a few towels and agitated with heavy agitation for about 40 minutes. When I removed them I learned a couple lessons. 1: Don't put more than one in the same sock. 2: Even with the ball wrapped in acrylic yarn, put it in a sock. 3: Maybe I should hand felt the roving balls instead of felting in the washer.

This is the mess. All tangled around the 2 balls in the same stocking. (Actually my friend had warned me that this method didn't work, but I thought just 2 shouldn't make a difference.)

The balls that were the yarn turned out nicely. I would keep the weight closer to 2.5 oz than 3. Now to try them with the wash. Because they are dark colors I will be careful which clothes I use them with until I'm sure they won't bleed onto light colors. And I'll play some more with that huge bag of fleece I'll never use for anything else.


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