Whilst casually scrolling through Pinterest and various zero waste websites I came across a number of references to tumble dryer balls. For the uninitiated these are balls (no surprise there) that you put in your tumble dryer in order to speed up the drying process.
Mr Amazon of course sells packs of these in various shapes and sizes - most of them plastic - which didn’t really appeal to me. Then I came across a reference to tumble dryer balls made of wool and of course my keen knitterly senses perked up at this.
A bit of Googling later and some kitchen experimentation I found myself with quite a bowlful of these cute felted balls. The jury is still out on the whether they categorically reduce drying time but my goodness they are such fun to make - and of course a fabulous way to use up an scraps of 100% wool you happen to have about your person.
I’m sure there are a variety of techniques available for doing this but when I shared photos on Instagram so many people asked about them I thought i would share it here:
HOW TO MAKE FELTED TUMBLE DRYER BALLS
You must use 100% wool for this
Also be aware that strong or deep dye colours in your wool run the risk of colour transfer to your laundry so choose accordingly.
Start of with a small core of tightly wound sock yarn (any yarn will do for this) - about 5g in weight, or if you have any spare roving/yarn ends scrunch these into a small walnut sized ball.
Take your 100% wool and start to hand-wind to form a round ball. Rotate it carefully to ensure an even round shape.
The balls in the photo use approximately 20-25g wool
Once wound, break the yarn and tuck the end in firmly
Once you have amassed 4 or 5, stuff them into the cut off leg from an old pair of tights. Put one down in the toe, then tie a knot. Then add the next ball and tie a knot. Continue until all of the balls are encased - with a knot between each one to stop them felting together.
Throw the balls in with your laundry for a few cycles of washing and drying
Then remove them from the tights and hey presto - cute, fuzzy yarn balls.