Our laundry routine has changed a lot as a result of our decision to cloth diaper and in doing so I thought I would share one project that goes along with how we wash clothing in our home. This is a project that I had on my list to do for well over 6 months! Since it is so simple, it kept getting pushed aside to make room for other projects instead. However, with numerous grumbles about static amongst our clothing, I knew I needed to make these wool dryer balls quickly. The main reason behind us not using dryer sheets is we cloth diaper and the sheets can lead to build up on our diapers which leads to leaking. I have only used these dryer balls for a couple of weeks so I have not noticed dramatic results, while there still is static in some of our loads, I do think there is less static than before.
To make these dryer balls you will need:
100% wool yarn or yarn that is good for felting (make sure you read the label carefully, some yarn appeared to be wool to me but when I looked at the label it was not)
pair of pantyhose or a tube sock (I did not have good results with the tube sock, but its worth a shot if that is all you have on hand)
small pieces of yarn to tie off the pantyhose between each ball
tweezers or a crochet hook
To start your ball core, wrap the yarn around your fingers a few times then carefully remove it and pinch it together. Now continue to wrap the yarn around itself creating a misshaped ball.
Continue to wind the yarn carefully and tightly till you get a ball size to your liking. I was not very methodical in how I wrapped my yarn so it will be interesting to see how much that effects their durability in the future.
Make sure that when you are making the core balls that you leave enough yarn to make another layer. You can also buy more yarn if you run out as well, but I only had this skein and knew that my store no longer carried this brand since I have had it for a long time; plus I was being lazy.
I found that using tweezers instead of a crochet hook worked to help tuck the loose strand into the ball. I made sure to completely cover it so that I didn’t have to worry about it unraveling or end up sticking out after I felted it.
Once you have your core balls made, place them in the pantyhose or tube sock separating each one with a small piece of string. It will look like a caterpillar. Then throw it in the washing machine on the hot cycle. This will help make the felting process work faster. After the wash cycle dry it on the hottest setting in your dryer. When they are dry, you should be able to notice the felting and all the strands of yarn should not slip off the ball.
I have started to add more yarn to the core balls in the photo above. You can see how the other two balls look smoother and the strands of yarn are not as pronounced-this is what the felting process looks like. Repeat the same steps above to finish the project.
So far they have held up in the dryer quite well. As you continue to use them, they will continue to get harder. I am interested to see how well these continue to work.
Have you found new ways to stream line your laundry routine?