Another weekend has come and gone much too quickly. We went to the RV Showcase in Lloydminster yesterday, as we are looking for an RV just a little bigger than the one we have now. We don’t need much bigger, just one that has access to the bed from both sides and a bathroom. I do get a little tired of having to walk to the public bathroom in the middle of the night when we’re camping, especially when it’s pouring rain.
We checked out every trailer I’m sure, from the smallest (in the $25,000 range) to one of the biggest (over $100,000). Sure, the big ones are nice, but then we’d have to buy a bigger truck to pull it with. Plus, the big ones don’t fit just anywhere.
Wait a minute, you say, I thought this post was going to be about making dryer balls? It is, but I just wanted to share our weekend fun with you. Now, onward to the tutorial!
I have made several dryer balls in the last few years, and there isn’t just one way to make them. Some people wet felt them (which I have done), others needle-felt them (done that way too), and some simply wrap roving and yarn nice and tight. The latter is what I did this morning, along with a little needle-felting for security. No matter which way you choose, just be sure they are quite firm when finished.
Step 1. Gather your materials. I used mill-processed sheep roving for mine ( I bought 40 pounds of it over two years ago), but alpaca roving will work as well. The photo shows the roving, handspun yarn (from the roving) and some alpaca roving.
Step 2. Wrap some of the roving into a ball, then wrap some of the yarn around it to squish it down. Alternate this part a few times, as it’s easier to scrunch smaller amounts of roving than thicker pieces. I secured the yarn ends with my felting needle.
I set the ball on my scale so you can see the weight increase. The next two photos are of the ball with its final yarn and roving wraps before I added the alpaca roving.
I did a quick spin of the roving so I could wrap it a bit tighter, but if you want to cover the entire ball with alpaca roving, then the spin isn’t necessary. I do suggest you use a felting needle to secure it.
Step 3. Wrap the alpaca roving around the ball and secure with a felting needle. If you do not have a felting needle, place the ball in a nylon stocking (or sport sock) and stretch the sock Asa much as you can. Tie it with a piece of yarn and toss into your washing machine with your next load of laundry.
When you put it in the dryer, you should notice a little more room in the sock, as the fibers will have felted together. Alpaca fiber felts well, which is why I prefer to use it on the outside. I have made some entirely out of alpaca fiber, and they are somewhat smaller due to the density of the fiber. I base my dryer balls on weight as opposed to size, as the felting process varies with type of fiber used.
The final photo is of the completed ball ( before washing). Laundry will be done later today, which is when the ball will be washed. I use five in my dryer, only because the dog claimed one as a toy. This new one will bring my number back up to six, which is perfect. I suggest using at least three in your dryer.
Note: washing in hot water and rinsing in cold will felt the fibers more, as will a lot of agitation (which is why placing it in a sock in the machine works so well).
As you can see, this ball weighs 2.5 ounces; the average weight I start with. The pile of roving in the first photo was not all used, nor was the yarn. There is enough there for at least three balls. The alpaca roving, however, was all used.
This wraps it up for this post. Roving can be purchased on Etsy (due to high shipping costs I no longer sell mine in my shop) from a number of Shops. If you are local and wish to buy a few ounces, let me know.
Have fun making your own dryer balls. 😀