Link-Clickers Paradise 10/25/16

In pursuit of wool dryer balls I know I must clean, comb/brush, and felt my wool. And so here I go to discover the wonder of of it all.

I’m going to overwhelm you on this one.

Guide to Processing Wool. I was so excited to find this piece of information. It has gotten me to a point where I know so much more about processing wool and I’ve only read the first 4 pages.

ehow’s guide to felting wool. Simple, but interesting to see it needs to be worked for at least 10 minutes.

simple wikihow felting tutorial This actually shows the small balls to use for¬† jewelry and I totally want to make these. There’s that pesky 10 minute comment again.

Youtube flat felt tutorial. Interesting. 20 minutes? Wow! Starting to think I don’t have enough patience to make these dryer balls. I now know why everyone starts with roving – fewer steps, less time.

Frog & Count This actually is a how to clean wool. The ultimate problem for reading the internet is the continual link-clicking. Every time I click a link I am sleuthing my way through miles of information, each clue bringing me closer to my goal or further away depending on your perspective. I will need to revisit this site.

Combing wool with homemade combs. Sigh more sites that need further perusal.

Washing wool. Really people tell me to stop clicking already. So much to learn, so little time!

Wool processing. I’m noticing these web pages that seem old or dated. Not modern. Does that mean I’m old for wanting to do these things?

Pretty needle felted items. And it’s past my bedtime.

Felt. OK, I’m getting tired of this search – are you? I think I learned what I needed on the first 2 or 3 items. However, I will stay the course, maybe I’ll learn something vital!

More felt. I am interested in this site – they taught a kids group. I wonder if there is more to discover here.

Washing wool. Very detailed.

A site that appears more modern and talks about washing wool. Must explore more – later. It is getting so late.

Mother Earth News and how to make a felted rug. I love this magazine but for money reasons do not receive it in my home. Fortunately all their content appears on the internet! A treasure trove of old-timey fun. I am totally doing this rug method next time we shear our sheep!

Spinning daily site – to explore later.

Anoka fiber works. I was reminded of this by a fellow sheep fiber fanatic in our area. What a great resource. I still haven’t made it to their site, but I hope to soon.

Well kids. What have we learned today? I am easily distracted by interesting links – yes. I think I will be able to finish my wool dryer balls quite effectively soon.

Making It From Scratch: Wool Dryer Balls II

I really, really, really want to make wool dryer balls – have you noticed that yet? I have heard from people that they would “totally buy them from me” if I could only figure them out. Motivation! There is a demand; I MUST fill the need.

Problem #1: I do not have roving.
Roving is wool in a pre-yarn state of existence. It occurs after raw wool has been gently cleaned and brushed. From what I can tell, the fibers all go in one direction and are magically joined into a beautiful rope-like structure which can then be spun into yarn. Discovery #1: there are also many other pre-yarn states like rolag which is usually what is made when hand carding. However, all the dryer ball instructions start with roving or worse – an old wool sweater.

Problem #2: I do not have carding brushes.
Carding brushes are the instruments used to straighten out the wool and make it soft, fluffy, and I assume, formable into roving or rolag. From what I have seen of them, they are 8″x4″ and come in a set of 2. I have seen them for sale, but have not yet had the funds to purchase them. Discovery #2: Roving is not made from hand carding brushes, it is made with a carding drum. Sigh.

And yet, I am determined to overcome these hurdles and make my own dryer balls by forming my wool into something closely resembling roving. It may be an imperfect union. But where there is a demand; I MUST fill the need. Here is what I did.

I pulled out a tuft of wool. By tuft I mean a clump loosely the size of a salt shaker. I carefully pulled out tiny yarn sized bits, then split those in half, letting the ends cling together so that I had a double length of wool that was soft and filmy. I added these bits to a flat line which I built up to be about 24 inches long by 2 inches wide and maybe 1/4″ thick with all wool generally pointed horizontally. I staggered the wooly bits so that they would overlap. Then I carefully rolled it like pigs in a blanket (or should I say lambs in a blanket) and ended with something slightly resembling roving – yippee. I carefully wrapped these roving-like pieces around a wad of wool. I built up my wool balls this way until they were almost the size of softballs. I was uncertain if this would work so I did not make them actually as big as softballs and as I progressed they were closer in size to baseballs. These were then stuffed into old nylons, and separated from each other by rubber bands.

With two rows of lumpy caterpillar looking things complete; I added them to the dirty laundry bags. I was desperate to give this a try, but our washing machine was on the fritz, which meant a trip to the laundry mat. Running to the laundry mat is always a complicated endeavor. First it must be timed just right in the day because of school and work scheduling as well as other errands to be paired with this trip into town. It also requires ransacking the entire house top to bottom for all possible dirty laundry. Then all the laundry is sorted by color (we do 3 batches, Black/Red colors, Blue/Green colors, and whites) and stuffed into feed bags. Farmers life note: feed bags make great laundry bags, trash bags, and sometimes snow sleds.

Once ready to wash, I put them in hot loads with the colors (no bleach please). Then dried them. Pulling them from the dryer and peeling back the stockings was so exciting. They now appear to be dryer balls, but the light color ones did not felt (the way wool compacts and hold tight as it is washed and agitated in hot water) as much as they should have. The dark brown ones firmed up nicely, but they are not even baseball sized, so clearly I must do more, and I wonder if I were to wash the light color ones again if they would firm up more. Maybe if I wash them enough, they would firm up completely and I could just keep adding layers until they reach the proper size like a big ol gobstopper of wooly goodness?

Whatever they are, I think they are so pretty. I brought one to work to keep on my desk and have been dropping cedar wood essential oil on it. It is a lovely thing to pick up randomly and toss in the air and that smell, so peaceful.

I feel I am one step closer to fulfilling my dream of being the go to gal for dryer balls. For where there is a demand; I MUST fill the need.

Check back to see the thrilling conclusion in part III – or is it?


Link-Clicker Paradise 10.4.16

I love knowledge seeking. I am not always the best at implementing this new knowledge but I love to seek it. I like to watch as it piles up on the dining room table and slowly spreads to the kitchen counter, and fills the “Room of Requirement”. I enjoy collecting pages and links and bookmarks. Before online pin boards, I had 3-ring-binders full of pages I printed, copied, or clipped from magazines.

Because I know you will love clicking links as much as I do; I have decided to collect links where you can access them with me, and I can find them again. We can all claim together that it is in pursuit of knowledge and pretty things-while wasting hours online and letting the dishes and science experiments pile on the counter.

Today’s search brought to you by a pursuit of calm!

I will say up front that this is based on a straight up GoodSearch* list result and I did not filter out any nonYL oils. I get no benefit for posting these links and they are not endorsed by me (maybe I should look into getting credit for the links). If you want to help me out directly you can go to my essential oil site (this link will take you to young living oils, and because it is my link, if you order under me I get the benefits – plus we can be friends forever because you are now part of my team!), or come to my open house the first weekend of the month, or someday – buy from my online store (someday I will have things for sale online).

Let the link-clicking goodness begin! lists 3 oils found to be calming lists 21 commonly used oils lists 3 oils for animals & humans 13 oils to calm & relax

A quick tip for link-clicking. After performing a search, I will “Command” click all the links in the search (not the sale ones on top though). By holding command then clicking; it opens these links in a new tab but stays on the search page. Once all the links are clicked I can then close the search tab and visit all the sites. In case it matters, I browse in Firefox on a Mac. These tips may not work for you, but may be adjustable to fit your situation (pcs use Control) . 5 oils for stress relief instructions to create a 4-oil relaxing blend lists 15 popular oils top 10 oils for anxiety a blend for calming children This was not in my original search, but it lists 5 plants for bedrooms to help with insomnia. Very helpful! I am attending a class this weekend called Succulents & Oils – new post idea? Combining the right plants for the right amount of sunlight to be able to plant in bedrooms to use to diffuse oils!

How fun was that? Do you feel calmer? More able to focus? Or are those pending tabs distracting you from finishing this post? Maybe this was not a good idea. Maybe this will only lead to trouble. Close those tabs now. You do not need to be as distracted as me. You need to stay on my site and read my posts!

What will you do with this new information? I’m working out a blend based on these oil ideas. Once I finish them I will post my recipe, and even offer them for sale-maybe.

*Goodsearch is a search engine powered by Yahoo. It donates funds to whatever organization you goodsearch for. I goodsearch for MACMH a children’s positive mental health education organization.