I was recently involved in a community afghan making project. It was incredibly satisfying and inspiring. What a simple and effective way to help out. This blog is asking crocheters to donate 1 granny square a month to make blankets for charity. Granny squares are so easy and my favorite thing to crochet. I’m really excited to have found this blog.
Monthly Archives: January 2014
Wool dryer balls are awesome. They are a great natural alternative to liquid fabric softener and dryer sheets. The harmful chemicals in commercial fabric softeners can cause central nervous system damage, among other potential horrors! Wool dryer balls soften your clothes and reduce static cling in your laundry without any harmful side affects (unless of course you’re allergic to wool, then I most definitely wouldn’t use them). Wool dryer balls are a very popular topic people are searching for, and most of the traffic on my blog have come here through search engines looking specifically for knit and crochet patterns to make them. In my wool dryer ball post, I did not include the pattern and I feel bad that I wasn’t helpful to the people coming here looking for them.
The patterns to these dryer balls have been bumping around in my head for years and it’s about time I get them out into to world.
One commenter in the wool dryer ball post suggested going to the big box craft stores with a coupon or during a sale and stocking up on Fisherman’s wool for making the dryer balls.
You’ll need to start your project by making a ball of yarn, wound very tightly. This is a fantastic project to use up leftovers in your yarn stash. Any 100% wool yarn will work, in any weight for the wound up ball that goes inside the knit or crochet pouch.
When the ball is 9 1/4 inches in circumference, thread the yarn tail onto a tapestry needle and secure the ball together. It doesn’t have to be seamed very much, just enough that it won’t be coming apart inside your knit or crochet felted dryer ball pouches.
I’ve done quite a bit of felting and I have found Knit Picks Wool of the Andes to be the best felting yarn ever. It felts up so easily, I swear this is what it was meant to do. I have had success with other brands of 100% wool, just make sure you aren’t using superwash wool.
Now, I’m going to be very direct and honest here. Felting is hard work! Some of the felting instructions I’ve read say something along the lines of, “Oh just throw your project in the washer and it will come out felted!” I have not found this to be true even once. I have a front load washer so felting is more of a challenge and I have no doubt it is easier in a top loading, agitating washer.
Here’s how I felted my dryer balls. First, I boiled them. I let them boil for a few minutes, then with tongs, plunged them into ice cold water. I put them back in the boiling pot of water for a few minutes, then once again, plunged them into ice cold water. I repeated this once more. I squeezed them out, put them in a mesh laundry bag, tied the slack, then put them in the washer on hot/ cold cotton cycle. I repeated this entire process (boiling and washing) 3 times before they were felted to my liking. My balls ended up being 10- 10.5 inches in circumference after all the felting. Both knit and crochet versions came out about the same size.
Another question I get is how many balls to use? I personally like 6-8 balls in my dryer at a time. I’ve heard of people using up to 12 and as few as 2. It’s really up to you!
The crochet pattern is easier and faster to make, but harder to felt. The knit pattern takes longer to make, but easier to felt. I am glad I got to do both. It was a really fun adventure.
This pattern is crocheted in the round, amigurumu style so there will be no joining and chaining. Just keep crocheting in a continuous spiral. You’ll need a stitch marker to indicate the beginning of the round.
You will need to make a wool ball of yarn that is 9 1/4 inches in circumference to place inside the outer pouch. See more information here.
Size J Hook (6.0 mm)
Worsted weight yarn in 100% wool (make sure it’s not superwash). I highly recommend Knit Picks Wool of the Andes for felted projects.
2scinc: 2 single crochet stitches in the same stitch, one stitch increased.
sc2tog: single crochet 2 stitches together, one stitch decreased.
Starting with a magic ring, sc 6 times in the loop. Pull tight.
1. 2scinc, repeat around. (12 sts)
2. 2scinc, 1 sc. Repeat around (18 sts)
3. 2scinc, 2 sc. Repeat around (24 sts)
4. 2scinc, 3 sc. Repeat around (30 sts)
5. 2scinc, 4 sc. Repeat around (36 sts)
6. 2scinc, 5 sc. Repeat around (42 sts)
7. 2scinc, 6sc. Repeat around (48 sts)
Rounds 8- 15 sc in each st.
16. sc2tog, sc in next 6 sts. Repeat around (42 sts)
17. sc2tog, sc in next 5 sts. Repeat around (36 sts)
18. sc2tog, sc in next 4 sts. Repeat around (30 sts). Put the yarn ball inside the pouch.
19. sc2tog, sc in next 3 sts. Repeat around (24 sts)
20. sc2tog, sc in next 2 sts. Repeat around (18 sts)
21. sc2tog, sc in next st. Repeat around (12 sts)
22. sc2tog around (6 sts)
Cut yarn, thread onto tapestry needle and seam the hole closed. Weave in ends.
The pouch will be large and loose before felting. Felt as desired. For more information about felting, click here.
This is the pattern for the pouch that will go over the wound up balls of yarn to make felted wool dryer balls. You will need to start this project by making a ball of yarn 9 1/4 inches in circumference.
US 10 (6 mm) knitting needles, either DPN or 40″ circular for magic loop
Stitch marker to indicate beginning of round
Worsted weight 100% wool yarn (make sure it’s not superwash)
CO 6 sts, divide evenly between needles. Place marker to indicate beginning of round.
1. KFB around (12 sts)
2. K all sts
3. K1, KFB repeat around (18 sts)
4. K all sts
5. K2, KFB repeat around (24 sts)
6. K all sts
7. K3, KFB repeat around (30 sts)
8. K all sts
9. K4, KFB repeat around (36 sts)
10. K all sts
11. K5, KFB repeat around (42 sts)
12. K all sts
13. K6, KFB repeat around (48 sts)
14. K all sts
15. K 7, KFB repeat around (54 sts)
16. K all sts
17. K8, KFB repeat around (60 sts)
Rounds 18-21, knit all sts.
22. K8, K2tog repeat around (54 sts)
23. K all sts
24. K7, K2tog repeat around. (48 sts)
25. K all sts
26. K6, K2tog repeat around (42 sts)
27. K all sts
28. K5, K2tog repeat around (36 sts)
29. K all sts
30. K4, K2tog repeat around (30 sts)
31. K all sts, place ball inside pouch.
32. K3, K2tog repeat around (24 sts)
33. K2, K2tog repeat around (18 sts)
34. K all sts
35. K1, K2tog repeat around (12 sts)
36. K2tog around (6 sts)
Cut yarn, leaving a 6 inch tail. Thread yarn tail onto a tapestry needle, and draw it through the live sts. Pull tight to close the pouch. Secure and weave in yarn ends. Felt as desired, or for more information, click here.
I wanted to make my 4 year old son a new hat, so I gave him a pattern book to look through. He seemed to get a little frustrated that he couldn’t find exactly what he wanted, so we searched on Ravelry for patterns together. Again, he was frustrated he couldn’t find exactly what he wanted.
I asked him to tell me what he was looking for. He told me he wanted a hat with red, yellow, green, blue, purple, black, gray, and white stripes. I got out a huge pile of yarn and had him pick out the colors for his hat. He piled up 9 balls of yarn and said those were the colors he wanted. We worked together to arrange the colors.
We ended up with a Roy G Biv rainbow plus a few more colors. What follows is the pattern to the cheerful hat my sweet 4 year old came up with.
Pattern Gauge: 5 stitches and 7 rounds per inch in stockinette stitch
US 5 16 inch circular knitting needle (or size needed for gauge)
US 7 16 inch circular knitting needle (or size needed for gauge)
US 7 DPNs or US 7 40 inch circular needle for magic loop
Tapestry needle for weaving in ends
I used 9 colors of worsted weight yarn, most of which were Cascade 220 and Knit Picks Wool of the Andes. The sequence for the hat was red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, gray, black. This is an excellent project for using up all those obscure yarn ball leftovers so you can use whatever worsted weight yarn you have on hand. You will need approximately 120 yards.
With smaller needles and red yarn, cast on 96 stitches. Place marker to indicate beginning of round. Work K2 P2 ribbing for 8 rounds.
Switch to larger needles, cut red yarn and begin working with orange, knit 4 rounds stockinette stitch.
Knitting 4 rounds per color, knit in stockinette stitch until hat measures 7 inches from cast on edge. (color sequence for this hat was red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, white, gray, black)
Continuing to switch colors every 4 rounds, begin decreasing.
Round 1: K 10, K2tog around (88 sts)
Round 2: K all sts
Round 3: K 9, K2tog around (80 sts)
Round 4: K all sts
Round 5: K 8, K2tog around (72 sts)
Round 6: K all sts
Round 7: K 7, K2tog around (64 sts)
Round 8: K all sts
Round 9: K 6, K2tog around (56 sts)
Round 10: K all sts
Round 11: K 5, K2tog around (48 sts)
Round 12: K all sts
Round 13: Switching to DPN’s or 40″ circular for magic loop, K 4, K2tog around (40 sts)
Round 14: K all sts
Round 15: K 3, K2tog around (32 sts)
Round 16: K all sts
Round 17: K 2, K2tog around (24 sts)
Round 18: K all sts
Round 19: K 1, K2tog around (16 sts)
Round 20: K all sts
Round 21: K2tog around (8 sts remaining)
Cut yarn, leaving 6 inch yarn tail. Thread onto tapestry needle, thread remaining sts onto needle and pull the top of the hat closed. Secure, and weave in all ends.