Friday, December 16, 2011

Spinning Off In A New Direction

I recently realized I've been spinning almost non-stop for a year. Spinning my own yarns as well as other custom handspinning jobs. Sometimes I would spin for up to 15 hours a day. That's a lot of leg work.

For a little break, I wanted to try something in something new with wool, of course! I decided to have fun with my roving and made wool dryer balls. Wool dryer balls are eco-friendly alternatives to fabric softener and dryer sheets. And, they really work!

Wool dryer balls made from Romney and Shetland sheep wool.
My husband, who hates fragrances, loves the dryer balls because they are scent free and do not leave any kind of film on your clothes.
Wool dryer balls made from Jacob's sheep wool.
Our household is making a HUUGGGE push to reduce our material consumption in 2012 so this is just the beginning for us. Apparently everyone else is interested in "going green" as well, because I cannot keep these in stock in my Etsy store or at the farmer's market!

So inspired by the wool dryer balls, I decided to make wool beads. In my previous post, I dyed some Clun Forest wool roving using logwood extract (a natural dye). I then took that roving and some other handspun yarn and viola! Gorgeous wool beads in some beautiful, earthy tones all from natural colors or natural dyes.

These beads are wet felted; however, you could needle felt or embellish them in other ways. To make jewelry, you simply string the beads together with a needle and string or beading thread/wire. Hemp string or nettle yarn would be perfect ideas. The possibilities are endless. I love this little bead below; it looks like planet earth.

As always, I have other projects on the horizon. My short list of fiber projects includes spinning organic cotton for the first time, a custom handspinning job for some beautiful alpaca, and warping my loom for a rug by the end of December (gulp). In the "going green department", I am making homemade laundry soap, dishwashing soap, and deodorant. I'll be posting about all of this in the weeks to come.


  1. Love the dryer balls. Gorgeous! Love to hear about your homemade deoderant too! Keep spinning!:-)

  2. Faeryfay, we are using the dryer balls with homemade laundry soap and the results are amazing. Our clothes are super soft now?! I will post about the deodorant and include the recipe as well. Thanks for your comment!