DIY Felted Wool Dryer Balls
I try to be green but I’m not always successful. To be honest I like my fabric softener. It’s got lots of chemicals but I’m stubborn and adding it to the rinse cycle is what I’ve done since my mom taught me to do laundry when I was 10. But there are some things that I don’t use fabric softener on, like towels, because it can make them less effective at drying things off.
And those towels can get crispy! Have you ever noticed that? So I made some felted wool dryer balls to use for those occasions. I figure eventually I’ll start using them more and more and fabric softener less and less. And that’s a good thing.
For this project you will need:
- 100% wool yarn
- crochet hook or similar implement
- essential oils (optional)
Basically this craft is making balls of yarn. Really. It’s just that easy. It is important that you purchase the right yarn. First off you’ll need wool yarn which I’m pretty sure you realized.
Now just because a yarn says wool that doesn’t mean that it is all wool. In this brand some were 100% wool while others were only 90%. Another brand right nearby was only 60% wool and 30% acrylic. For this project it is important your yarn is 100% wool.
It is also important that nowhere it says “non-felting” for obvious reasons.
Begin by wrapping your yarn around the fingers on one hand several times.
Twist the into a figure 8.
In the middle of that blog start running your yarn around the center. If your ball starts to go more pill shaped, fold over the sides to make another ball/blob and wrap around the center again. This should get you set up.
As you go at this point your yarn ball will start to form. It kind of looks like an onion here but it is coming along.
Keep wrapping yarn around until you get the size of ball you want.
Take an object like a thinner crochet hook (this is a G) and shot the flat, not hooked, side into the ball through the string that needs to be secured. Continue to push that yarn into the hole until the ball is nice and tight.
Keep going until you run out of yarn or have as many as you want, trying to keep them similarly sized.
Take a pair of pantyhose and cut off at the top of the leg (near the crotch).
Shove the first ball to the toe portion of your pantyhose leg and tie off to secure tightly inside.
Continue adding your yarn balls securing with a knot after each. Wash and dry them with a load and check inside of the hose to see if they are felting up.
Do they still look like individual strands or are does it look more like a solid mass? You may need to run more than once, I had to twice for my balls to finally hold shape.
When the dry and felt, they also shrink up. I had my hose TIGHT around the balls and after there was more room inside each section. There was probably some stretching of the hose, but the finished balls are a bit smaller than when they started out.
Out of two skeins of wool yarn I made three decent sized balls. Using the remnants of both colors there would have been enough to make even one more. But I like even numbers!
In the end I’m pretty stoked about these things. If I want scent I can add essential oils to them so my clothes and towels still smell pretty. So while these little things are beating the heck out of my loads of laundry to soften them, they can also be perfuming them as well!