Friday, June 12, 2009

If it's one less thing I have to buy at the store

...then I am all for it! THAT is the real reason I like reusable things. I figured my friends probably appreciate that too which is why, if you are my friend Megan and you haven't got your package yet then you'd better stop reading or you're going to spoil the surprise. :)

No more Megan? Okay, continuing...

Megan can pinch pennies like no one I've ever seen so when her birthday came up I knew she'd appreciate something that was useful to her home and family and be something she wouldn't have to continue spending money on. Plus I've been just dying to try these!

Wool dryer balls!

I'd been hearing about these for a while now but I've never felted anything before so I was feeling a little timid. Well it is NOT hard so if you want to try these then break out the soapy hot water, friends!

I followed this tutorial but I do have some recommendations from what I learned in the process.

First of all, I think white, or just undyed, wool is the way to go. I did a practice run with a scrap of green wool yarn and it did turn my hot water green as it was felting. Seeing that I just wouldn't feel all that comfortable putting all kinds of whatever colored dryer balls in with my laundry...unless it was a color match!

I did not put mine in with a load of laundry to felt them. I put them in a large bowl of soapy, hot tap water (as hot as I could get my tap to go) and swirled and "agitated" them around for a while with my hands. You may have to let them soak alone so the water can cool somewhat and not burn your hands. When the water cooled completely I dumped them out, rinsed them and then threw them in with the laundry into the dryer.

I also felted mine twice each run and I think that made mine look more like a solid ball than the ones shown in the tutorial. Once they'd been through the hot, soapy water then dryer routine, I immediately did it again and that second time made a big difference in their solidity and look.

I also made my core out of unbleached 100% cotton yarn. I think it really helps that first step maintain its shape.

And in case you're interested in exactly what kind of yarn I used, it was Fisherman's Wool and it costs $8.99 for one skein. I made these four dryer balls and have probably enough to do that many more from what is left, plus I used a coupon for the yarn so total cost is not bad!

I haven't tried them myself yet, but I hope they work as well as they claim.

In other news...

My hometown Relay for Life is this weekend! So if you were wanting to donate to the American Cancer Society you can visit my etsy and get some swag in return!

Speaking of etsy have you checked out the Yart Sale going on over there? I bought myself some goodies here and there are plenty of other shops participating - and yes, that includes me. :)

If you're looking for bargains on handmade goods, then this is the week to get them.


B said...

That is a neat tutorial, but I have to agree with you on doing white, and I like how yours turned out better. They look so nice just sitting there in the bowl, they'd make great decorations too!

Sandra said...

I did not like the idea of all different colored dryer balls either- I bought mine. I found some at that are plain cream non dyed. I think she also has black non dyed also. They work REALLY well!

Heather @ Sugar N Spice Mostly Nice said...

I'm off to read the tutorial. Thanks for the advice!!