Big Hairy Balls

My Inner Child wrote the title.  I made dryer balls.  I have wanted dryer balls ever since I saw them at a farmer’s market 2 years ago.  I just didn’t want to pay the crazy price people tend to ask for them (and these were alpaca, no less).  I thought about buying cheap wool yarn, but even cheap wool yarn isn’t cheap when you are winding it into a ball, never to be used as yarn again.  One day, I realized I can make them out of wool roving.  And then I wondered if I could make the core out of something cheap, like acrylic yarn.  Sure enough, a brief internet search turned up several examples of dryer balls with acrylic cores that work just fine.

So, I was off making big hairy balls!  I went to the stash upstairs, the one that I have been moving to various states and stays in a closet because I will never use the yarn again but it is *yarn* and I can’t possibly throw it out because one day I might want to use it, like now, and I grabbed 2 skeins of old yarn.  I then proceeded to make balls.

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It’s spring, and I liked the shadow of the daffodils on the counter top.   These are all about 3-ish inches, maybe a bit bigger.  I had ordered some roving to practice more dyeing and to make the dryer balls.  It was a full pound, which turns out to be a lot of wool!

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I wrapped the yarn balls with the roving and then put them all into a pantyhose.  I used acrylic yarn to tie the pantyhose between the balls.

I then threw them in the washing machine with a load of towels.  I washed them in hot water with a cold water rinse.  They then went into the dryer along with the towels, on the highest heat setting, still inside the pantyhose.  When they were done, this is what they looked like.  A couple of them did kind of stick to the pantyhose but it wasn’t too difficult to pull them out.

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The roving definitely shrunk up and felted around the acrylic core.  I have achieved dryer balls!  They are currently bouncing around in the dryer with a load of laundry.  The first load I did seemed less wrinkled.  I have no idea if they actually shortened the drying time, but I’m more concerned about the fact that my dryer has a special ability to wrinkle clothes, no matter what the fabric.  They definitely do not do anything for static, but I didn’t expect them to.

This was a fun, easy project and made something useful that will hopefully last a very long time.

 

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