Introduction: How to Make Felted Wool Dryer Balls

About: In a valiant attempt to keep myself from dying of boredom, I create.
I am always looking for things that work more naturally, more green, than the toxins we find in practically everything, even dryer sheets or those long chemical names is liquid fabric softener.  I heard about the use of felted wool dry balls several times, and now is the time to try them out.  I found directions on how to make them on eHow,  Felting is a process of using hot water and hot drying to get the scales in the wool to shrink and bind together to become a solid unit.  So I bought some felting wool and made 6 balls out of 2 skeins.  They turned out well.  The balls live in the dryer and really do keep the static electricity down and they also cut down drying time (thus saving electricity) and their bouncing around while the dryer is doing it's job, makes the clothes softer and fluffier.  So here is How to Make Felted Wool Dryer Balls.

Step 1:

Felting wool
Nylon hose (mine are black)
Polyester yarn (scrap piece, not shown)
Washer and Dryer
Yarn needle

Step 2:

Find the start of the yarn and wrap it around your first 3 fingers 5 times.  Remove from your fingers and wrap the yarn tightly around the bundle 5 times.

Step 3:

Fold the bundle in half and wrap the yarn around the new little ball. 

Step 4:

Keep wrapping the yarn around evenly, making a small ball.

Step 5:

Turn the ball 90° and wrap evenly around the whole ball again.  By this point the ball should be just larger than a golf ball.  Cut off the yarn.  Tuck the loose yarn end, under some of the other yarns.

Step 6:

Add the ball to the toe of the hose, and pull it tight, a tie piece of yarn and around the hose to allow the ball to be in its own little section,  repeat with as many balls as you have.

Step 7:

Put the hose full of wool line balls into the washer and run the washer load with HOT, HOT, HOT, water add a towel or pair of jeans to cause more agitation.  Run a normal length of wash cycle.  When the washer stopped, put the hose full of balls into the dryer with the towel and run it an hour on HIGH!  Pull it out of the dryer.

Step 8:

Remove the balls from the hose. 

Step 9:

Add the second layer of yarn.  This will go twice around, with a 90° turn between the two layers. Cut the end of the yarn.  

Step 10:

Use a yarn needle to run the tail of the yarn through the center of the yarn ball.

Step 11:

Again add the balls to the hose, tying the hose between the balls.  Again run them through a hot wash and a hot dryer.  Remove from the hose.  The wool yarn has felted together and they are now solid wool balls. 

Step 12:

Put them in the dryer and let them do their job each time you run it.   Been using them for a month now.   They work really well.  Enjoy!
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