All natural tennis balls
About three years ago Matt purchased a set of felted wool dryer balls on Etsy. When he opened the package I laughed and asked why he was purchasing balls of yarn for such a ridiculous price! He explained the purpose of the dryer balls and asked if I would experiment with them in our laundry.
Wool dryer balls are not a new concept. I had just never heard of them before this package showed up on our doorstep. People have been making them for years as an eco-friendly alternative to dryer sheets and liquid fabric softener (read about our homemade dryer sheets and fabric softener). But wool dryer balls can do so much more than just eliminate chemicals from your laundry.
1. Begin wrapping your wool yarn around your first two fingers about 10 times.
2. Pinch the bundle of yarn in the middle and pull off your fingers. Wrap more yarn around the middle of this bundle.
3. Wrap yarn around the entire bundle until you have the beginnings of a ball.
4. Continue wrapping tightly until your ball is the desired size. (I make mine softball-sized to help cut drying time more, but tennis ball or baseball-sized will help save money on yarn.)
5. Use a blunt-tipped yarn needle or crochet hook to tuck the end of the thread under several layers of yarn. Pull it through and cut the end.
Repeat these steps with more yarn until you have 4-6 balls.
6. Cut the leg off an old pair of pantyhose. Put balls into the toe of the pantyhose, tying tightly in between each one with string, or cotton/acrylic yarn. (Just don’t use wool yarn or it will felt around the pantyhose.) Tie off the end. Take a few minutes to play with your yarn ball caterpillar if you like.
Felting the Dryer Balls
7. Throw the entire yarn caterpillar into the wash with towels (or a load of jeans if you used brightly colored yarn).
8. Wash in a hot wash cycle with a cold water rinse cycle. Dry your yarn caterpillar with your laundry using the hottest dryer setting.