a stitch in lime

stumbling into creativity

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Dryer ball makeover

So remember back when I made some awesome felted dryer balls from leftover yarn? They were quirky wound balls that I wet-felted inside some pantyhose. Here’s how they looked back when they were freshly made:

December 2010: So fresh and so clean, clean.

Aaaand, that was over two years ago. And that was before diaper laundry. Diapers that have velcro tabs that don’t stay attached to their little laundry tab attachers no matter how hard you smoosh them down or how clean you keep the velcro. At least, mine sure don’t. So, loose, grabby velcro tumbles around in my dryer on the regular. Which probably explains this state of affairs:

March 2013: Bits of that red one are stuck to all my clean clothes.

But after buying three awesome new dryer ‘ballz’ from my awesome friend Danica at Emballizm, I got the idea to cover the outside of my old ones with wool roving and re-felt them to make all the ugly mess go away. And it was so easy, dudes. I bought some colourful (and pretty cheap) roving at my local yarn store (or LYS, if you speak fibre-nerd-ese) and a felting needle. I’d never needle felted before, but I’d seen it done and it looked so painfully easy (jab-jab-jab, repeat) and since I already had a wool base to felt onto, I was all psssh let’s do this shiz.

Here are my colourful colours:

Fluff! (And clearly, photography was not taken into account when purchasing said fluff. Raggedy it is.)

I approached this task with freestyle zeal. Put a blob on, felt it on, wrap a blob around, felt it on… you get the idea. Stop when it looks done. And they turned out awesome! Here they are before their first maiden voyage.

A very satisfying makeover. They look like little Earths that got egged.

I had so much fun doing this. (Though I potentially developed some unfortunate shoulder strain from the repeated jabbing.) I have a bunch of the roving left over and am trying to figure out how best to use it. Make more for gifts, probably!


Felted dryer balls

Sick of using chemical fabric softener? I was. So I’d been using some plastic dryer balls from the dollar store to cut down on all the chemical nonsense. But then, being from the dollar store, one came apart. Also, they were made of hard plastic of unknown origin and were beating ruthlessly heated up while repeatedly contacting our clothes.  So, I had some wary feelings about them as it was. Then, totally by chance, I stumbled upon a tutorial over at Green Eyed Monster that showed how to make your own from  felted wool!  Hello, lovelies!

Now, the day I made these, the Green Eyed Monster tutorial was down for the weekend, so I had to hunt around for a similar tute. And I found this very informative one from GoodMama that did the trick.

Here’s what resulted:

Ain’t they nifty?  And they work like a hot damn, too, beating the wet clothes senseless as they dry, and keeping them soft. It’s great!

Such an easy thing to make, too. Instead of using 100% wool for the core and doing a first pass at felting the inside layer, I just used a bunch of ugly yarn I had on hand to make a base, then started wrapping the real wool overtop until all of the core was covered. Then I felted them inside the leg of an old pair of stockings (as the tutorials suggest) and the outside just contained the non-felted (presumably synthetic) core. I ran them through a hot wash twice and they’ve been in the dryer a few times now as well.  Success!