Friday, July 29, 2011

Dryer Balls

Three dryer balls and a little extra yarn
I never had any intention of using dryer balls in my life time.  I’ve never used a dryer sheet (they creep me out) and I guess soft cloths don’t mean much to me.  But one day I read the description of wool dryer balls for sale on a cloth diaper website, and they claimed it would reduce your drying time by 25 to 50%, and I figured why not? 
From the looks of the thing, a dryer ball was just a ball of wool yarn that had been through the wash, I decided this would be an easy project, and an easy way to use up this pitiful knitting project I abandoned 7 years ago.  Here’s how it’s done:
1.       Make a ball of wool yarn about 4 to 6 inches in diameter, and cut the yarn.

2.       Take a crotchet hook or very large sewing needle and shove it all the way through your ball, hook the yarn, and pull it through to the other side.
3.       Repeat step 2  2-3 times till you feel confident it won’t unravel.
4.       Throw it in the wash with your next load (I put mine in with the diapers because I didn’t care if they got stained, but a cold cycle would do fine)
5.       Throw them in the dryer.
Now it’s been felted and it’s ready to use.
Balled up knitted material.
Wrap the yarn around the material, push the hook through, wrap the yarn around it the hook, and pull it back.
Materials- scrap yarn and scrap knitted wool
Alternatively, take a piece of knitted material.  In my case they’re these weird rectangles, but you could also use an old sweater that’s cut up.  Roll it into a ball, then wrap some extra yarn around it, and follow step 2 with the crotchet hook.  It’s a little misshapen, but it does the job.  To make three it took me about 20 to 30 minutes.
For the best results you should have at least 6 balls.  Throw them in the dryer with your wet clothes, and they supposedly reduce your drying time, soften your clothes, and thwart static.  I find they reduce my drying time a little, certainly not 50%.  As for softer and static-free clothes, I haven’t noticed much of a difference, but like I said, I wouldn’t be one to notice.

Try it: Free
Buy it:  $19.95 for 3 on Amazon
Verdict:  Try it if you have the supplies on hand or can find it in a thrift shop super cheap, otherwise I doubt it’s worth the price of wool yarn.

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