A while back, I made a set of wool laundry balls for myself. A friend pointed out to me that they’re useful for cutting down drying time and softening the clothing without use of chemical-laden dryer sheets.
Making them is pretty easy. So easy, in fact, that I decided to make a whole mess of them as Christmas presents for various people. (I had some very cheap wool acquired from the farmer’s market and a yard sale–not nicely suited for spinning, but great for dyeing and felting.) I ended up with four sets, which is few enough that I figured I might as well make sacks for them too.
I used the Grrlfriend Market Bag as a template, sizing it WAY down and only adding one handle bit enough to hang over a doorknob (which is where I store my woolly balls). I love the pattern and it works up so quickly that some folks might just see a few market bags in their stockings this year too. 🙂
Here’s my quickie mod of the pattern, sized down to hold four tennis-sized balls.
- Needles: DPNs, size 5 and 10
- Yarn: Worsted weight cotton (I used scraps of Peaches & Cream)
With size 5 needles, cast on 8 stitches. Join to work in the round.
- Round 1: Knit.
- Round 2: *k1, yo, k1, pm, repeat from * a total of 4 times (12 stitches)
- Round 3: (and all odd rounds) Knit.
- Round 4: *k1, yo, k1, yo, k1, sm, repeat from * a total of 4 times (20 stitches)
- Round 6: *k1, yo, knit to 1 before marker, yo, k1, sm, repeat from * a total of 4 times (20 stitches)
Repeat rounds 5 & 6 until you have 13 stitches between each marker (52 stitches total). Switch to size 10 needles and move to lace netting stitch:
- Round 1: *k2tog through back loop, yo, repeat from * around
- Round 2: (and all even rounds) Knit.
Repeat rounds 1 and 2 of the netting stitch until you reach the desired length.
- Work garter stitch (knit a round, purl a round) for 4-6 rounds.
- Cast off knitwise, all but last 3 stitches.
- Work in i-cord for six inches, pull stitches through and sew end of cord to the border to form a loop.
Weave in your ends and use your new little bag to store your handy homemade laundry balls!