machine knitting midgauge standard bulky machknit knit machine-knit patterns
Saturday, August 9, 2014
Mar’s Spherical Dryer Helpers Revisited
I have seen quite a few patterns for hand
knitted dryer balls and didn’t find myself attracted to any of them---mostly
because they are knit on double pointed needles. They start with just a few
stitches and increase every other or every row to get to the middle of the
ball. That’s one thing the knitting machine doesn’t do easily.We can knit in the round with the ribber, but
sharp, even increases to get a round ball would be difficult, if not impossible.
Decreases yes, increases so fast, no.
When one of the gals in my guild did a program
on felted knits, she showed some dryer balls she had made.She wound a ball of wool yarn and then needle
felted some roving on to it.She felted
them in the washing machine inside a nylon stocking.I tried that and had to spend days pulling
off little pieces of nylon and lost most of the roving.I evidently missed a trick somewhere.(Ball on the left.)Then I tried just rolling a wool ball and
hand sewing down in 7 million places so it wouldn’t unravel.(Ball in the middle.)It works but doesn’t look so elegant and you can see the individual threads.Then I came up with the ball and jacket
idea.(Ball on the right.)It fills the bill, as far as I’m concerned .
So, why make these things anyway ???? Some reasons: The balls bounce around in your dryer and
pound the clothes taking out wrinkles and static.(No more expensive dryer sheets.)They also reduce the drying time
significantly.I usually use 4 at a
time.The only downside I can think of
is that they are noisy.
recipe.A ball and a jacket.Done from middle to end, twice, because decreasing
every couple of rows is easy.
100% Wool yarn that works with your machine.No superwash.
1.Wrap a ball of wool yarn to the size you want.
Color shouldn’t matter.Mine are about 4 inches in diameter.Set aside.
2.Cast on over
46 (40, 34) needles with waste yarn.Knit 6 rows. Loosest possible tension throughout.
main yarn 10 (8, 6) rows. (Don’t do a permanent cast on, just knit)
waste yarn and rehang main yarn doubling up stitches across leaving no empty
needles, knit 2 rows.Repeat this step
until you have 6-8 stitches left.(or
use your garter bar if you have one.)
off on a 10” yarn tail with your double eyed transfer tool.Don’t cinch up yet.
the knitting and pick up the main yarn stitches at the center of the ball, all the way across with purl side facing
you.Remove waste yarn now or
later.Repeat steps 3, 4 and 5.
ball into your unfinished jacket to see if it’s the right size.Add a little, remove a little until the ball
sits snugly into its jacket.Because the "jacket" will shrink, it's better to leave a tad of shrinking room. Now you can
cinch up the ends and use one of the yarn tails to seam the ball shut.Hide the yarn tail from the other end into
the ball after you cinch up that end.
8.Throw into the wash a time or two until the
stitches are obliterated and any dye that wants to run has run its course. (Your yarn may not run at all.) Then into the
dryer for many happy tumbles.
I made mine on the LK 150 midgauge with Mary Lou’s Schuss Plus. The white didn’t felt as nicely as the colored
yarn.The colored yarn did not run in
the wash or the dryer. I admit I had to try a few different combinations of
stitches and rows to get a nice round jacket for the ball. (Forget the
math!I wouldn’t know where to start.)
So, if you’re using a standard or a bulky, you may have to do a little
I’m guessing at the
correct number of stitches and rows to get a nice ball for the other two
machines.These go so fast once you get
the right ratio---they would make nice little stocking stuffers for the people
in your life who do the laundry.
by the way.Don’t be tempted to use
acrylic for the ball.The gizmo just
won’t work very well.
*********************************************************** Curious and curiouser----- once again, Blogger wouldn't save my post unless I omitted the word "balls" in the title.