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Felted Wool Balls

September 1, 2010

We have a guest room.  Kind of.  It’s really a glorified closet with a bed in it.  Most of the time it just houses my photo gear, art supplies, and yarn.  I do like a home to be cozy, lived-in, but clutter makes me anxious.  That room terrifies me.  In an effort to relieve the clutter, I recently went through my yarn stash.  I got rid of all of the decade old acrylic (ewww!) and wound all the wool scraps into balls.  What to do with all those little balls of wool?

Felt them, of course!

There are tutorials all over the internet for how to make felted wool balls.  You can use them in the dryer in lieu of dryer sheets, but if you ask Baby O they are The Best Toy Ever!  I’ve also seen people use them for pin cushions!

To make ours, I just wound the wool into a ball and secured the end using a tapestry needle to weave it through the center of the ball (a crochet hook would also work).  I then placed all the little balls in the leg of an old pair of stockings, tying a knot in the stockings between each ball.  Then I threw them in the wash with the diapers! (cold rinse, hot wash, cold rinse, hot dryer)  Viola!

Each brand of yarn came out felted to a different degree.  The most felted (blue) is Patons merino wool.  The white is Lion Brand Fisherman’s Wool, and the red is a recycled sweater.  After the initial felting in the stocking, I did all further felting by just tossing the balls into the machine whenever I did laundry.  A quick, easy, and rather gratifying project!

Some of them have gathered a bit of fuzz, but that is easily remedied with a sweater shaver.  Also, if you are going to felt wool for toys, be sure you really felt them good so that there aren’t any loose strings or pieces of yarn for little ones to get ahold of!

So, what are you crafting?

18 Comments leave one →
  1. Tamara Sz permalink
    September 1, 2010 1:54 pm

    How cool that you made your own wool balls! I have been wanted to try them out as dryer balls but haven’t yet. Perhaps one of these days when I knit a wool soaker (finally) I’ll use the leftover to make some of these! Lovely!

  2. Katie permalink
    September 1, 2010 2:16 pm

    where do you get the sweater shavers? i have a pair of longies that needs to be shaved but I don’t know where to get one….

  3. September 2, 2010 12:24 pm

    Thank you for posting this! I have been interested in trying them, but much better to make them. Did you tie off the end? These are now on the top of my to-do list. Thanks.

    • September 2, 2010 12:56 pm

      I used a tapestry needle to weave the end in and secure it to the ball before putting it in the stocking… Perhaps I should add this to the post. Thanks for asking! :-)

  4. September 3, 2010 12:41 am

    My little guy loves wool balls too! These look great.

  5. September 3, 2010 11:16 am

    Great idea! Every knitter/crocheter has some odd wool bits around. Dryer ball making it is!

  6. September 3, 2010 11:16 am

    Little felted ones for christmas tree decorations or garland… oh what a wonderful way to use up an oddball of wool!

  7. September 7, 2010 3:35 pm

    If you use colored yarn to make the balls, do you have to worry about them bleeding onto your laundry when used as dryer balls?

    • September 9, 2010 9:15 am

      Rachel, I haven’t had a problem with color bleeding, but if you’re concerned you can always check your yarn for colorfastness. :-)

  8. September 9, 2010 12:40 pm


  9. September 18, 2010 12:10 am

    I’ll going to make a few for decor but I’m sure they’ll turn into cat toys. =)


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