With winter well on it's way more clothes will be going into the tumble dryer. Did you know you can get static-free clothes with a few household items you can easily find in your own home ... some tennis balls.
To keep fabrics soft and cling-free, toss three tennis balls into your dryer and run them through a cycle. You'll be amazed at how softer your clothes come out, and you've saved a few bucks along the way!
You can make the dryer balls to any convenient size, but the ones you can buy are about nine inches around. Since the natural wool balls shrink a little prior to felting, you can make them about ten or so inches in circumference to get a finished size similar to the commercial dryer balls.
You will need:
Wool Yarn - Machine washable yarns aren’t any good for this project!
Old Pantyhose or a sock
Cotton or string
1. Begin making the core of the ball by winding a bit of yarn around your fingers.
2. Once you have a bit done, take it off your fingers, let it close and wrap the yarn around it. This is the beginning of your ball.
3. Continue wrapping the yarn around and forming a little ball. There is no right or wrong way to do this step, as this will be completely covered up later on.
4. Once you have a small ball, cut the yarn and tuck the end under using the crochet hook. This will keep it from coming loose during felting.
5. Put your small wool balls into a length of pantyhose or knee-high sock. Tie the hose closed between each ball with a piece of cotton or string using a secure knot. This will keep the balls separated during felting.
6. Toss the wool ball pantyhose caterpillar into your washer with a load of laundry. Hot water will help the felting process. If you have used a hand-dyed yarn, or wool that is not colourfast, be aware that the dye may run.
7. Once the dryer balls have been washed and dried, cut the strings between the hose and remove them. They should be slightly felted. If you want them felted more, run them through another load.
8. Begin winding more wool yarn onto the ball and continue winding until the ball is the size you want. Tuck the end under using the crochet hook.
9. Once you have your dryer balls the size you would like, put them into the pantyhose again, tie them, and repeat the felting process. The balls don’t have to be completely felted before you can start using them; just slightly felted will do, so they won’t come apart. They will continue to felt and get harder as you use them.
Your natural wool dryer balls are now finished.
[ diy life - janice anderssen ]