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Topic: Wool Dryer Balls  (Read 3033 times)
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LovelyMiss
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« on: December 02, 2017 08:34:03 AM »

I was trying to come up with ideas for my holiday gift buffet that would be fairly simple to make.  I decided on wool dryer balls.  These weren't exactly fast, but they didn't take much mental energy. Smiley



Dryer balls help shorten drying time, and can replace chemical fabric softeners.



I found a great deal (from knitpicks) on wool yarn that felted really well.  I made 40 in total, and they were packaged as 10 sets of 4.



I was going to package them in boxes with clear lids, but I decided in the end to go with drawstring bags.  I thought the bags would be more user friendly if people wanted to store them between laundry days.





Instructions:
--Roll a skein of wool yarn into a ball.  It needs to be 100% wool to work properly.  Mine shrunk about 1/3 in size when felted.

--Lose end strand in the ball.  I used a yarn needle on some, and just tucked it in under a few layers with my fingers on others.

--Place balls into the legs of a nylon/pantyhose, knotting the nylon between each ball.  I bought $1 pantyhose at Dollar Tree and just cut the legs off.  I saw some tutorials suggest tying off with yarn/ribbon/twine between the balls, but I found that the pantyhose kind of stuck to the felted balls, so there was really no salvaging them after the fact.

--Put the balls (which are now knotted inside of the nylons) into the washing machine.  Complete one spin/rinse cycle on hot.  Soap is optional.  I tried it with and without and didn't notice a difference.

--Put the balls (still inside of the nylons) into the dryer, and complete two dry cycles on the highest temperature.

--Check your balls.  If they seem felted enough, you can stop here.  I ended up doing one more cycle in the washer, and three more in the dryer to get them how I wanted them.

--Cut the balls out of the nylons, and you have your felted wool dryer balls.
« Last Edit: December 02, 2017 09:28:06 AM by LovelyMiss » THIS ROCKS   Logged

craftylittlemonkey
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« Reply #1 on: December 02, 2017 08:54:40 AM »

They look great! and they are not inexpensive to buy so they will make a very nice gift.
I have a set I made many years ago that are still working fine but look a little worn by now. I washed them with dish soap when felting them though, I read that is supposed to help get them stuck firm. Did you find it worked better without the soap?
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I AM IN NEED OF GIRAFFE ITEMS!
70 giraffe gifts for mom's 70th, party decorations too. Please message me if you can help, thanks Smiley.


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« Reply #2 on: December 02, 2017 09:06:13 AM »

I don't know what a gift buffet is, but I'd surely pull up a chair at that table!

The balls are a great gift! And one to use all year long! I like your personal comments about not being able to salvage the nylons after you finish, as well as knowing you both tucked and sewed the ends. Items of note are always the best part!

\m/

P.S. 'Check your balls' - teehee!

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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2017 09:27:43 AM »

They look great! and they are not inexpensive to buy so they will make a very nice gift.
I have a set I made many years ago that are still working fine but look a little worn by now. I washed them with dish soap when felting them though, I read that is supposed to help get them stuck firm. Did you find it worked better without the soap?

Thanks!  I did one batch with soap and two without and I didn't notice a difference, so I just figured I wouldn't waste the soap.  I going to change it to "soap optional."  Grin


I don't know what a gift buffet is, but I'd surely pull up a chair at that table!

The balls are a great gift! And one to use all year long! I like your personal comments about not being able to salvage the nylons after you finish, as well as knowing you both tucked and sewed the ends. Items of note are always the best part!

\m/

P.S. 'Check your balls' - teehee!


Thank you!  Instead of me selecting gifts to make for everyone individually, I just make a bunch of things and set them out so people can pick and choose which things they like best/will be useful to them.  Hence the "buffet."  Cheesy  Takes the pressure off me trying to guess what people would like, and no one has to fake a "oooh....I love it."  Cheesy
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« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2017 09:37:20 AM »



I don't know what a gift buffet is, but I'd surely pull up a chair at that table!

The balls are a great gift! And one to use all year long! I like your personal comments about not being able to salvage the nylons after you finish, as well as knowing you both tucked and sewed the ends. Items of note are always the best part!

\m/

P.S. 'Check your balls' - teehee!


Thank you!  Instead of me selecting gifts to make for everyone individually, I just make a bunch of things and set them out so people can pick and choose which things they like best/will be useful to them.  Hence the "buffet."  Cheesy  Takes the pressure off me trying to guess what people would like, and no one has to fake a "oooh....I love it."  Cheesy



Ohhhhhhh. That is really smart!
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« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2017 07:56:54 PM »

A holiday gift buffet is a brilliant idea and I'm coveting your dryer balls. Totally Rocks.
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Monty
« Reply #6 on: December 15, 2017 05:55:47 AM »

Totally savings this to try. Great tutorial and they look so interesting. Less waste as well.
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steiconi
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2017 09:14:28 AM »

nifty idea!

I've never heard of dryer balls.  would you get the same effect if you tossed an old wool sweater or socks into the dryer?
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« Reply #8 on: December 21, 2017 09:23:36 AM »

nifty idea!

I've never heard of dryer balls.  would you get the same effect if you tossed an old wool sweater or socks into the dryer?

While any wool item will wick moisture into the core of the fibers thereby potentially decreasing the drying time, the action of the wool balls breaks up clumps of laundry which helps dry & also discharges static. If you've ever washed down pillows the advice is to put them in the dryer with tennis balls or a pair of clean sneakers, otherwise they take ages in to fluff up & dry.
If you are like me & highly sensitve to chemical fragrance ingredients (even other people's clothes set my sinuses off, darn you all to heck Tide Angry), you can still scent your laundry by adding a couple drops of essential oil to the balls. I like lavender but mint is surprisingly fresh & clean.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2017 09:27:56 AM by craftylittlemonkey » THIS ROCKS   Logged

I AM IN NEED OF GIRAFFE ITEMS!
70 giraffe gifts for mom's 70th, party decorations too. Please message me if you can help, thanks Smiley.


"Always use the good beads, the good fabric and the good yarn. Life is too short to leave it waiting in stash." ~ Edel C
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« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2017 01:50:53 PM »

These are the prettiest balls I've ever seen! Cheesy  Thank you so much for the tutorial.  I've had them on my list of things to make, but haven't ventured there yet.  You make it sound totally doable!

What else is on your buffet this year?  I LOVE that idea, too!
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