Friday, November 20, 2009

My new wooly dryer balls

Okay, not the most exciting of things I admit, but very useful. I've been using plastic dryer balls for a while but one of them split in half recently so I needed to replace them, as I do think they help reduce the drying time and soften things up. Since I bought them I've read that they are made from PVC which isn't the most eco-friendly of materials, and I've seen (expensive) felted wool ones available to buy online. Seeing as I'd just ordered some natural merino roving for some other projects, I thought I'd have a go at making some felted wool balls myself. I used a combination of needle-felting and wet-felting to form them and then finished them off by sticking them in the washing machine inside an old nylon tights leg. I started by making four smaller ones like I'd seen online, but after running them through with a load of laundry I realised that it would drive me nuts trying to locate four golf-sized balls in every load, so I enlarged two of them to about the same size as the plastic balls. I decided to leave them natural because I didn't want any dye rubbing off onto our laundry but I think I might add some coloured roving to other two balls and turn them into the kids' presents for inside the Jack Horner pie. I just need to be a bit more careful when I'm needle-felting because I managed to stab myself twice and then snap off all five needles on my tool whilst making these.

I enjoyed trying out the wet-felting for these and I've just got this Feltique book which has some lovely projects for all different kinds of felt, so I think I might try making some wet-felted sheets of felt soon.

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