Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Guest Blog: Malina from Bummis-How to make your own dryer balls.

Its still Thanksgiving week here at 3 Moms but we thought we would give you a little sneak peak at what is coming up for the Holiday Season.  After Thanksgiving we will focus on Holiday posts through New Years.  We will have an awesome reoccurring guest blogger to help with the Hanukkah side of things as all of the 3 Moms celebrate Christmas.  If you celebrate a holiday other than Christmas or Hanukkah and want to represent it please contact us at cookinmamas@yahoo.com

For the holiday season we will feature many yumilicious recipes for sweet treats you can give as gifts but we will also get our craft on a bit with fun DIY gifts as well.  That is where this post comes in.  Malina was kind enough to share her skills with us on how to make dryer balls.  These would make really cute gifts to give this Holiday season.  They are perfect to give as a hostess gift if you are invited to a Holiday party this year.  They are also soft and fun for a baby to play with.  Even if you do not cloth diaper and do not practice anything green in your home these are still great for you.  They cut drying time, which saves you time and puts money back in your pocket.  They eliminate the need to use dryer sheets, which also puts money back in your pocket and they are good for your dryer/home.  I recently learned dryer sheets cause a waxy build up in your dryer when, mixed with lent, actually poses a fire hazard.  The waxy build up also hinders your dryers performance and cuts the lifespan of the dryer.  So follow Malina's simple instructions and your dryer, wallet AND the environment will thank you for it.




A guest bog post from the Bummis Mom- Make your own felted wool Dryer Balls!



I wrote a post for the Bummis cloth diapering blog awhile back on making your own wool dryer balls and was very excited when Christy asked me to help her out with getting a similar post on 3 Moms and a Kitchen. Living a green lifestyle is very important to me and dryer balls are just one more way to save energy. They make great gifts too!

I was inspired to try out dryer balls when the fall weather first blew in. I live in Canada and the line drying season is shorter than I would like. I'm pretty sure I  happen to have the world's worst dryer as well so I began research on how to speed up drying time. Wool dryer balls seemed like the perfect solution. 

Dryer balls work by by separating your clothes as they circulate in the dryer which allows the warm air to reach more of your clothing or diapers. In addition to this, the slightly rough, felted outside of the balls creates a friction against the fabrics, which cuts down on static and softens your clothes. You can use anywhere between 3 and 8 dryer balls. Most people recommend that you start with at least 4 so that's what I did, and it's worked wonders! For the first time in years, I can put a large load of laundry through and everything dries the first time. So, do you want to learn how to make your own felted wool dryer balls? It's about as easy as a craft can get.



Here's what you'll need:
·    A few balls of wool. The amount of wool needed will depend on the weight of the wool and how tighly you wind. I used 1 ball of wool to make 1 dryer ball (including the core). Make sure that the yarn you're using is 100% wool or it won't felt properly.
·    Old pantyhose or socks
·    A small amount of non-wool string (cotton or acrylic both work fine)
·    Scissors
·    A crochet hook (optional)Step 1:Starting the core

Begin by winding a bit of wool around two fingers.

When you've got it about a half inch acrossm pll it off your fingers and continue wrapping the wool around the middle of the loop. This is the start of your ball

Step 2: Wrapping the core of your ball

Continue wrapping the the wool around, turning the ball slightly every few loops. You don't need to be neat about this first bit as it won't be visible once your ball is finished.  Once the ball is about 4 inches around, cut the wool and tuck in the loose end either with your fingers or crochet hook if you've got it.



Step 3: Stuffing the pantyhose/socks

Next, put your balls in the tie pantyhose. Tie a bit of your cotton or acrylic string between each ball in the stocking to keep them separated.

Step 4: Washing the cores

Throw the balls in the machine with your laundry. If you throw them through on the hottest washing machine setting, it should only take once through to felt the cores enough. Then, throw them, still in the pantyhose, in the dryer once. When the load is done, cut the strings and pull out your balls.

Step 5: Beginning the outer ball


Begin winding more wool onto the ball. You don't need to do anything to attach the wool to the ball. Just hold it down with a finger as you wrap until it stay on it's own. 

Step 6: Winding the outer ball

Continue winding your ball until it is as big as you want it. I made mine slightly larger than tennis balls   so they would shrink down to about tennis ball size when felted. Repeat steps 3 and 4 and your dryer balls are ready for use!

Check the original Bummis Blog Post here for some great tips in the comments section!




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