Tinker Around

Welcome to my blog. It is full of basic projects and tutorials for things that I have done and feel like others out there would benefit from learning too. Be sure to take time to leave me a comment. Thanx, Pam

Sunday, February 21, 2016

Wool Balls for the Dryer

So... did ya miss me?  Lol... Yes, it has been a long Long LONG time.  I had typed out a long paragraph on what all had taken place, but that really isn't what the blog is about.  Let's just jump into what this one is gonna highlight...

Wool Balls for your Dryer.  I dunno how many of you have ever even heard of wool balls, but they are out there or you can make your own and they work wonderfully!  I am that picture person, so there will be lots of photos coming up.  What is a Wool Ball?  It is yarn, specifically WOOL yard, that is wound into a ball, put through a process and used in the dryer.  Why use a Wool Ball?  It puts space in the dryer as it tumbles around to dry clothes faster, the wool will absorb some of the moisture from the clothes and dry clothes faster, and it has helped take out the static cling.  Some folks even put oils in the balls to make the laundry smell better.  So... let's get started...

Just get some wool yarn and the craft store.  Here I will remind you, use the online coupons from the craft stores and never pay full price.  If it is already on sale for 30% off, wait til next week and use that 40% off coupon!  That little 10% will add up over time with your different purchases.  The larger percent of wood that is in the yarn, the better.  I got some that was 53% wool and was a lot of work in the end.  Go for the gold, find that 100% or even better yet... go to the thrift store and get an old wool sweater that says dry clean only... Be SURE it is 100% Wool... more on this later.   (oh, in the photo below... do you see that flat purplish grey stuff under the scissors?  That is what "felted" wool looks like.  I will talk about it in a bit.)

Another reason I went ahead with this wool, NOT 100% was the price.  I ended up finding some that was on clearance, and there was a sale with coupons... yeppers, only paid $1.49 a skein.  That was a steal and I bought out that Hancocks!  You can see in the picture above that it isn't quite "wooly" enough to felt very easily.  But, I have done felting before and knew that.

Here is where I failed you!  Photos!!!  Oh dear me...  ok, you got all the balls rolled, one skein per ball.  Slide it into pantyhose or knee highs and tie it off, put in the next one, tie it off,... keep going till you get them all done. IF you get a really good wool, it will be very "fibery" as if it were coming undone before you even put it in hose, that is why you need the hose... to keep it all together through the wash and dry. I toss four in my dryer at a time, so I did four of these at one time.  Run them through HOT water with a couple of large towels, no soap, just the wash and spin cycle is needed.  Then, toss it all in the dryer on HOT heat.  What you are trying to do is to get the fibers to start fusing together, almost like a melting.  This process is called "felting".  I had to wash and dry my Not Quite Wool Balls in the washer and dryer about four times to get them to start felting.  Then, I just left them in the hose the first couple times I used them to be sure they were done.  IF you use real 100% wool, you won't have that problem.  But, who wants to open the dryer to a ball of unwound yarn!  I figured better safe than sorry.   These don't last forever, as a while... dunno how long, over a year anyway... they will eventually turn into a sold ball and just not absorb like they did in the first.  Next time, I am springing for the Real 100% Wool!
I have also still had some static cling, another case of the "not so wool wool".  All in all, I like having the wool balls.  I do see my dryer on for a shorter period of time.  Now, IF I could just find a way to speed up that dang washer.... but, it is one of the economic ones, so it will just have to take a while.

I will be back sooner that later.  Planning to blog at least once a month this year.  Yep, already a month behind!  But, things are going better around here and I will be back soon!  Be sure to let me know if make any felt balls and how you like them.  Don't be too frugal... get that 100% wool!