Monday, December 28, 2009
Christmas gifts I made, dryer balls
Wool dryer balls rock! I have several, and love them. Those awful PVC dryer balls they sell on tv are toxic, noisy, and tear up your clothes. Wool dryer balls are quiet, natural, gently soften your clothes, reduce static, and cut down on drying time. You save money by not having to buy laundry softener, and cutting down on dry time reduces energy!
I have great admiration for those that make large quantities of dryer balls! These hurt the joints in my fingers, & I had to keep taking breaks with each one, but I liked the way they came out, so I pressed on! I used strips of wool scraps, and wound them tightly into a ball, overlapping them as I went along to keep them in place, and stuck a pin in it to save my place whenever my fingers got tired. I learned that using chunky knits bulk up your ball fast, then using merino scraps at the end helps smooth out your ball for a perfect circle. For the covers, I used this pattern I found online, but tapered the ends a bit more. Since these turned out heavy & huge (about the size of a small grapefruit), and required so much work, I gave them individually instead of in pairs. I was pretty happy with how these turned out. The only problem with these is that a couple of friends reported that their kids claimed them as "my ball!", and they are unable to try them out in the dryer yet ;)
Since I had questions on these, I am adding this picture of some "naked" dryer balls that i'm working on. These are just waiting for covers. After I wind the scraps tightly I loosely baste stitch around them, so they don't unravel. This is what they look like, patiently waiting for their new outfits :)
ETA again: FYI... the tighter they are, the heavier they are, and the heavier they are, the better they work. For a reference, my dryer balls weigh over 8 oz. each. They may seem hard at first, but when you run them through a wash/dry, they become a tad squishier. Mine are so tight that they can bounce!