The wool in the dryer balls wick away extra moisture, drying the clothes faster and with the quite soft beating motion in the dryer from the balls makes the clothing soft and keeps the static down. It is a huge plus to be free from the chemicals in fabric softeners and fabric sheets, too.
These are three I just made from wool yarn. You can make them quickly for yourself, your friends and family and to donate to charity, too.
Here is the pattern to crochet them.
1 skein yarn
1 crochet hook
With wool yarn (we recommend Fisherman’s wool yarn from Hobby Lobby – the price is good and it felts well), and a crochet hook (we like size G) make a magic ring. Here is a link to a youtube tutorial on how to do a magic ring if you don’t already know how – http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WLuSVyKvoUg and crochet 8 sc in the ring. Pull tight and slip stitch into the first sc to make the first ring.
For the second row, chain 2, dc in the same stitch. Follow the instructions in the bracket to the end of the row – (dc in next stitch and 2 dc in the stitch after that) dc in the last stitch that you just did 2 dc in. Slip stitch in the last stitch to close. This will make half of the cover – a domed shape.
Repeat row 2 for row three. That is the other half of the cover. You will now have 2 half domes that will be whip stitched together over a ball of yarn you have rolled from the same wool yarn. To roll the ball of yarn check out this tutorial on youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=equs45JCHwo You will note in the picture that some of the balls have more than just three rows. You can make the balls as big or as small as you like by adding or deleting rows.
These balls are quick and easy to do. After you have them done, toss them in the washer with your laundry, pour the laundry detergent for the load right on the balls. Use hot/cold setting for the load as the temperature extremes, soap, and washer agitation will felt the balls so they work better and hold together better with use. Toss them in the dryer and leave them there permanently. I use approx 8 to 1o balls in my dryer as I tend to do full loads. If you are doing small loads you can use 5 to 6 balls.
Use up your scraps of wool yarn as well by simply tying the ends of shorter pieces – as you crochet the tied ends wind up inside the covers so you don’t see them. These dryer balls are a wonderful gift for a new mother as fabric softeners can cause allergic reactions in small babies. We make them for the refugee center and other places who are helping folks get on their feet with household goods.
The same pattern from acrylic or cotton or blended yarn makes wonderful soft toss toys for the children in the hospital, homeless shelters, crisis centers and for individuals in need who would love safe toys for their children.
Do you have a variation on the dryer ball pattern? Please share, we would love to hear from you.