Rainy Day

I have a love-hate relationship with rainy days. I know they’re necessary so that everything has water without us paying for it, but I dislike them when they’re cold and dreary. When they’re dreary, I need things to pull me out of any funk they can sometimes throw me into. When they’re dreary, I crave COLOR!! Lots of bright and bold COLORS!!

I started my work today by finishing these dryer balls in my natural colored wool offering.

Stormy gray dryer balls

While they’re pretty, they just weren’t pretty on a rainy day. These got me going on the dyepot with some wonderful Blue Faced Leicester roving and some Jacquard #735 Kelly Green. A most definite improvement and a needed staple for making dryer balls!

BFL in dyepot

More color improvement came with the blocking of my latest square I knit up, with some merino that I experimented on, from TinCanKnits pattern called Vivid. The colors are canary yellow and sienna. I think I should most definitely experiment some more! Right now, I’m knitting 3 squares of each color from my own hand spun, hand dyed yarn.

latest square The first 6 squares

To top off the adding of COLOR into today’s dreariness, I received a package from my good friend, Jeff Mueller (aka Computer Art Man). He sent this beautiful metal print because I mentioned something in a tweet to him (follow him @computerartman on twitter) about a week ago!

Bright Light Big City by Computer Art Man

Jeff is my favorite digital artist because his work is absolutely amazing!! I now own two pieces of his fabulous artwork. The other piece I own, I bought a few years ago and it’s a gorgeous canvas piece of Marlena Dietrich from a still scene from “Shanghai Express”!!

Now, get out there and DO something!

TLD

This is how my dryer balls are made…

A lot of people have brought it to my attention that my dryer balls are ‘too bouncy’ to be 100% wool. If you were to say this to me in person, I’d invite you to cut one in half and see for yourself. I would also consider it to be a waste of the hard work I put into my dryer balls. The halved ball, on the other hand, I would be able to recycle into new dryer balls.

I don’t like to share anything about my process or the processes my art or craft goes through to get from point a to point b. This time, I will share my process. I find that it’s necessary for a dryer ball to have some bounce in it to bounce its way around the clothes dryer. It’s this bouncing action that is what actually softens the clothes as they’re being propelled around the inside of the clothes dryer.

The washed wool

I start out with about a 1/2 ounce of washed wool. I prefer to work with loose, washed wool because it’s easier to compress by hand than a carded batt of wool.

My beautiful picture My beautiful picture

I compress or squeeze the wool tightly in my hand until it’s firm enough to start a binding yarn. The binding yarn will aid in holding the wool together as you wrap the yarn around it while squeezing the ball tighter.

My beautiful picture My beautiful picture

I keep adding more wool until the ball is almost 2.25 inches in diameter. I begin by pushing the needle felting tool into the wool ball and keep doing this while I rotate the ball around and around.  I continue to needle felt it into a nice, firm, round ball until it meets my expectations for bounce and…..

My beautiful picture My beautiful picture

VOILA!! A dryer ball ready to be dressed up (covered with dyed wool, silk and/or decorative wool)!

My beautiful picture

I’ve not bought any dryer sheets or fabric softeners for the past 4 years. Considering that I used to go through a box of 120 count dryer sheets every 3 months, I’d say that I’ve saved roughly $55 over the past 4 years and that’s not bad for a really small family.

(On a side note: dryer balls are strictly fabric softeners. They do nothing to remove static electricity. Only a dehumidifier can do that properly, unless you live where there is high humidity.)

Save some money and buy a set of dryer balls for your dryer today at my Etsy shop!!

Yes, I do make custom dryer balls!

While I’m not really into painting with wool, I do make custom design dryer balls for those who ask. I shipped out an order for custom designed dryer balls this past Wednesday. I love how they turned out. There are 4 to 5 hearts on each ball.

yellowheart2  purpleheart3 purpleheart2 purpleheart1 pinkheart1  orangeheart1 greenheart2 greenheart1 blueheart2 blueheart1 All of the heart balls

I enjoy making them and I never want to ship any of them because I love how they all look. I think a decorator bowl, full of dryer balls, would look really awesome on your coffee table. I would put a bowl full on mine, but I don’t have one.

Get some fiber to play with. You’ll love it.

My Etsy shop!

Blogging, fiber art and dryer balls.

Gallery

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I’m a fiber artist. I love everything there is to love about wool, silk, cotton, shiengora, llama, camel hair, alpaca, etc. I love washing and carding it, but I especially love spinning it and weaving with the resulting yarn! Lately, … Continue reading