Saturday, May 7, 2011

FO: Wooly Dryer Balls

Hey. Hey guys. I made something else. And I took pictures. Are you looking? Look at me!

AND it was an IWTMT.

Last week I bought some Lamb's Pride Worsted, thinking if I was going to make dryer balls I wanted natural-colored wool. Don't ask me why I didn't just use the perfectly good wool I have in my stash. Didn't your mother teach you to mind your manners? All these questions!

DSC04366

Pattern: Wooly Dryer Balls from With A Tangled Skein. However, I say "pattern" loosely; it's more of a brief tutorial. It does not include instructions on felting.
Yarn: Less than one skein of Lamb's Pride Worsted covered four acrylic balls of approximately 8.5" circumference. I used color M-140 Aran. The acylic core was probably Caron Simply Soft Ombre in Country Blue, but I don't know that for a fact. I got four small balls out of a large partial ball I had, with very little left. I really should measure this stuff.
(7.1.11 edit: I weighed the balls and did some math. I believe I used approximately 104.5 yards of wool and 190.5 yards of acrylic.)
Hook: Haha, bet you thought this was a hook/needleless project, huh? You use a crochet hook to secure the yarn ends so the ball doesn't unravel. I used a G because it seemed like it would lessen my chances of loosening all the yarn as I secured the ends.
Timeline: I got it all done yesterday.

Opinions:
This was a perfect quick project for me, since my hand has still not recovered. I also felted for the first time, and it was easier than I had anticipated. My washing machine is more computer-like than the turn-dial ones in the felting tutorials I looked at, so it was difficult for me to feel like I was doing it right. I sent the dryer balls (in tied-up pantyhose) through 2 wash cycles on hot with a pair of jeans, and then dried them alone in the dryer on hot for 60 minutes.

They had felted really well at that point, but I decided to do a hand-felting in my sink after, just in case. You can see how beautifully they felted here:

DSC04368

Isn't my robe a pretty color? I was afraid the M-140 wouldn't felt, being a natural color, but it was a champ and I would definitely repurchase that yarn/color.

They take FOREVER to dry once they're soaking wet. Mine still aren't dry, even the 2 that I sent through the dryer today. That's something to consider.

(Also, these pictures are all pre-shave. I put some in the dryer with my towels pre-shave and everything seemed fine, but I used my fabric shaver on them after I took them out to defuzz them a bit.)

Random Thoughts: So ... how do they work? That's a good question. I made 4, but I intended for each one to be used with one essential oil, so I haven't used all 4 in the dryer yet. I think I'd really need to use 4 at once to see a reduction in drying time.

I put about 5 drops of lavender essential oil on one and 5 drops of eucalyptus on another and tossed them in with some towels. The towels seem un-staticky and amazingly, they actually smell a little like the essential oils, so I'm going to consider this a win.

I definitely, definitely definitely want to make more, both for myself and others. I think these would be great gifts, especially when gifted with a nice essential oil (rose or lavender, perhaps?). I purchase the Oshadhi oils at a local store and find them to be very high quality.

Actually, I can see the most lovely hand-made package, with wooly dryer balls, essential oils, maybe a hand towel knit of linen ... mmm. I know I'd love to get that.

And if the recipient doesn't like them, they make great juggling balls.

DSC04369

2 comments:

De said...

FUN! I'm going to make some for myself and scent them with lavender too. I'll let you know when I actually get to the project, and how it turns out. ;-P

Johanna said...

Adorable! Yes I do love the color of your robe and I think they would make wonderful gifts. I also really want to learn to juggle. Funny how I saw this yesterday and I was just talking a few days ago about wanting to learn to juggle. I think I read about it in a book and that is why I want to take it up. How long do the yarn balls last?