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A Pony for Sara

We have a new pony! It’s a long story how I found him, but this pony needed a new home. I didn’t know how badly, until he got here. His hooves have possibly never been trimmed (our horses get their hooves trimmed every 2 months). Underweight, although not drastic. Still a stallion (never neutered). Shedding in weird patches.But the biggest thing wrong: Terrified. Scared to death. Literally shakes all over. Runs away. Cannot catch him. Abused.

winslow terrified

This is Winslow, day one.

So, got his hooves trimmed. My blacksmith was so kind and patient. Spent a week working with him everyday, several times a day. Very hard to catch him. Usually takes two people – have to corner him. Left his lead line on him, so when you get close can either grab or stand on the lead line. Once caught, his terror is blatant.

winslow just got gelded
Then he got gelded (neutered). This is major surgery. The vet was awesome. My friend Elaine, who came to lend moral support, fainted in the stall. 🙂

Winslow eating grass

This is Winslow, no longer a stallion. Very wary of me. Now he must be exercised twice a day, to help his incision heal. At first I thought, how will this ever work? But, bit by bit, he got a tiny bit easier to catch. And lead. It was a great day, when he would trust me enough to put his head down and eat grass (instead of watching me constantly in fear). The bonding and trust between us has grown. I bring sweet feed with me to his stall, and he will usually come to me, although not always – sometimes it is as if his fear was never even slightly abated. I exercise him every day. We go on walks. I’m teaching him that it is ok for him to be brushed, and washed with a hose. I now have him in a stall next to my “big” horses, and Belle (my mustang mare) has fallen in love with Winslow.
He’s still scared, but not as bad., usually.

Winslow yesterday

He is so adorable, and so sweet. Not an aggressive bone in his little body; just wants love. I try to imagine a day when his fear is gone.

custom earth ponies 003
My love of horses began for me at age 2. It gives me such pleasure to knit little horses. I call them Earth Ponies, and you can request them in practically any color of the rainbow.

Woolies Unicorn
Earth Ponies at Woolies on Etsy!

Thank you for reading about me and Winslow!

Woolies Shop
Buster N Boo Shop

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Living a Dream and Making Dreams Happen


I recently moved to my dream location. Close to a large Steiner school for my kids and in the middle of a village with many of my favorite teachers, authors and role models in the Steiner world living all around me. This move was huge for my family and continues to be a real leap of faith. A few years prior my husband mentioned a pearl of wisdom someone had shared with him about dreams. They said if you wanted to learn something, create a group for it to be taught. Sort of a “build it and they will come” mantra. Well once we moved here that is what I did. Teaming up with a local handcraft teacher I have started a winter knitting group, children welcome. The women who have come have all been such bright souls and sharing such a soothing meditation such as knitting with new friends has already proven to be a highlight of my week. It is so easy to get stuck in the solitude of our passions.  Do you have a way that you bring community to your craft life?

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Felted Wool Cell Phone Case Tutorial

My cell phone is forever getting lost at the bottom of my purse.  I wanted to make a pretty cell phone case that would make it easier to keep track of.


First I knit a rectangle with easily felt-able wool yarn.  Knit it larger than you need because it will shrink when felted.  I simply guess-estimated making it about twice the size as I needed on size 8 needles.  I knit 30 stitches across which ended up being too wide. Make sure it’s a wool yarn that can be felted.  Stay away from yarn that says “machine washable” or “superwash” as it will not felt.  You can knit it or you can upcycle an old wool sweater by felting it in a hot wash cycle.


To do this, take your knitted wool rectangle or wool sweater and add it to the washer tied in a pillow case.  (this is to save your washer from wool fuzz.) Wash on hot with other sweaters or a few thick towels or pairs of jeans.  These will help agitate the wool.  Add a small amount of detergent.  Wash once or twice in hot water.  Check your sweater or knit piece to see if it’s tightly felted.  If it it’s felted well then dry it on high. Check often to make sure it doesn’t wrinkle while drying.  Once it wrinkles it’s wrinkled for good.  Now, when you cut your wool the stitches won’t pull apart or fray. If it does fray then repeat the felting process.

My felted rectangle ended up a little large so I cut it to size.  Use one long rectangular piece.  The bottom of the case will be the folded edge.


Now the decorating begins.  I used some scraps of wool yarn I had on hand.  I needle felted a single strand of green wool to make a leaf design.


Needle felt it well so that it does not pull off when rubbing against things in your purse.


Next I chose a brighter peach/pink wool for my flower.  I simply started in the center and wrapped it around and around to make a spiral or circle.


Then I needle felted the stem.


Blanket stitch the sides together.  Begin by hiding the knot inside at the bottom of the case.



Blanket stitch all the way up on both sides.  You can add a string so you can wear it by finger knitting the string and sewing it on.  Or you can finger knit a latch and button. Mine works well without a button and surprisingly doesn’t slip out in my purse.  I wanted to be able to easily pull it out in a hurry with out having to fumble with a button.  Though if you want to add a strap to wear it a button might be wise.

I think I’m going to have to make another with a strap for when we go on our walks.  How decadent of me!  Enjoy your lovely, new cell phone case!  And if you make this please link back to us here at Natural Kids so we can see.

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Free Knitting Pattern: Valentine Hearts

My boys and I love making handmade cards for friends and family, and nothing says I love you, like a hand~knit valentine heart.
Here’s how to make one {or a dozen!}
Supplies You’ll Need:
Size 6 {4mm} Knitting Needle
Worsted Weight Yarn
Darning needle
sts = stitches
M1 = make one stitch by lifting the running stitch
from the row below and knitting into it
K1 = knit
ssk = slip, slip, knit
k2tog = knit two together
Slip the first stitch in each row for a nice finished border
Cast on 3 sts.  Turn
K 3 sts.  Turn
K1, M1, K1, M1, K1.  Turn
K 5 sts.  Turn
K1, M1, K3, M1, K1.  Turn
K7 sts.  Turn
Break yarn.
Slide all these stitches to the end of the needle and repeat the last section again.
Don’t break yarn the second time.
You should now have both tops of the heart on one needle.
Making sure both pieces are ridge side up, knit across.  Turn
K 3 more rows.  Turn
K1, ssk, K to last 3 sts, k2tog, K1.  Turn
K across.  Turn
Repeat the last two rows until 2 sts remain.
Bind off.
Darn in ends, coaxing the heart into shape.
To make a larger heart, add more increase rows to each top piece.
To make a taller heart, add more plain rows between each decrease row.
For the valentine card, I hand stitched the heart in place with a bit of embroidery thread and a very sharp needle.
Elizabeth Murphy   Come join me under The Sitting Tree for stories about my life as a wife to my best friend, proud mama of three unschooled boys, obsessed knitter and lover of Mother Earth.
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What’s new, and well, natural, from the NaturalKids Team

Welcome! I continue my trek backwards through the alphabet to bring to you the most wonderful and imaginative treasures. They are all handmade with natural materials from…yes! the NaturalKids Team on Etsy! This week, we feature wonderful variety of artist from who have one thing in common – they all work with natural materials.

Marie in the Garden

Farida hails from Seattle, Washington, USA. As she was born on the feast day of St. Alkelda, it seemed only right to name her shop “Alkelda” …Old English for “healing spring”! Alkelda: Dolls for Storytelling creates natural, beautifully embroidered wool felt figures for use in nature table displays, storytelling, and imaginative play.

Here is one of her most recent treasures…Marie in the Garden!

Woolie’s Lace Shawl Pattern

Sara creates her artisan stuffed animals and toys from Tucson, Arizona, USA. Her shop Woolies features her natural hand-knitted and cloth treasures, as well as patterns to make your own. Here is her latest… Lace Shawl Knitting Pattern.

Dollhouse Doll Rosie

Natalie works from British Columbia, Canada. Her shop, Woolhala, features all-natural Waldorf & dollhouse dolls, doll clothe and wool felt animals. Here is her newest dollhouse doll… Rosie.

From patterns to wool stuffed storytelling treasures to doll house components, these are just a few of the natural treasures you will find from our shops hailing from all over the world.

Thanks for joining us this week! Please do return again next Monday as we continue to feature all the wonderful members of the NaturalKids team on Etsy. Until then, I invite you to browse all our wonderful shops.

Rebecca aka Nushkie
Nushkie on Facebook

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Easter Nest and Egg Pattern Tutorial

This week’s How-To is Easter Nest and Egg Tutorial by Linda, from Mamma4earth here on the Natural Kids Team. This darling little knitted tutorial is just the thing if you like to knit… and I can just imagine all the amazing colour variations if using variegated yarn. Hope you enjoy this weeks Spring and Easter craft tutorial!

Easter Nest and Egg Pattern Tutorial:

Hello wonderful friends, thanks so much for visiting:) Today, I have been working on a pattern for Easter crafting. We will soon be setting up our Easter tree and I wanted to make something special, so I have Knitted a nest in handspun Alpaca yarn, spun by my daughter Jenna. Inside the nest are some rainbow eggs. I have knitted the nest with a textured appearance to give it the look of a true nest. I do hope you enjoy knitting these patterns:)

Yarn for the nest, I have used handspun Alpaca
Yarn for eggs, I have used rainbow cotton DK
4.5 mm circular needles
Wool needle for sewing up
Fleece for stuffing the eggs
Cast on 10 stitches
Join for knitting in the round (Magic Loop)
Round 1: Knit
Round 2: Increase into each stitch across the round (20 stitches)
Round 3: Knit
Round 4: (Increase into the first stitch, knit 2 stitches, increase into the next stitch, knit 2 stitches) repeat across the round, knit 1 stitch on the end. (26 stitches)
Round 5: Knit
Round 6: Increase into each stitch. (52 stitches)
Round 7: (Knit 1 stitch, purl 1 stitch) repeat across round.
Round 8: (Purl 1, knit 1) repeat across round.
Round 9: (Knit 1 stitch, purl 1 stitch) repeat across round.
Round 10: (Purl 1, knit 1) repeat across round.
Rounds 11- 14: Knit
Round 15: (Knit 1 stitch, purl 1 stitch) repeat across round.
Round 16: (Purl 1, knit 1) repeat across round.
Round 17: (Knit 1 stitch, purl 1 stitch) repeat across round.
Rounds 18-21: Knit
Rounds 22-23: Purl
Cast off.

Sew in the ends.

Egg Pattern:
Cast on 4 stitches and join for knitting in the round.
Round 1: Knit
Round 2: Increase into each stitch (8 stitches)
Round 3: Knit
Round 4: Increase into each stitch (16 stitches)
Rounds 5-13: Knit
Round 14: (Knit 3 stitches, knit 2 stitches together) repeat across the round, knit 1 stitch on the end.
Round 15: Knit
Round 16: (Knit 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches together) repeat across the round, knit 1 stitch on the end.
Round 17: Knit
Round 18: (Knit 1 stitch, knit 2 stitches together) repeat across the round.
Round 19: Knit
Finishing off:
Break your thread and thread your yarn onto a wool needle and thread your stitches from your circular neeldes onto your wool needle and pull tight to close the opening. I normally fill the egg from this end and make sure the the wide base is firm and then fill the rest of the egg. Close both ends by threading tight in a circle with your thread and pulling tightly closed.

Roll your egg in your hands to get the required egg shape, and there you have an Easter Egg:)

Wishing you all an inspired week.
xo Linda
This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla

Please visit Linda at her blog Natural Suburbia where you can see the original post, find a few other wonderful free knitting tutorials, plus other craft life tutorials and more. In her own words Linda is a “homeschooling mother of four little souls from South Africa. I am a knitter, pattern designer, gardener, homesteader and try to be as self sufficient as possible”.

Check out her Etsy shop Mamma4earth where you find more wonderful knitted treasures consisting of Waldorf inspired knitted and wooden farm animals, gnomes and toys.

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Valentine Heart Knitting Pattern, Tutorial

This week’s How-To is Valentine Heart Knitting Pattern by Linda, from Mamma4Earth here on the Natural Kids Team. Her blog is Natural Suburbia where you will find lots of tutorials and posts. This is the last “Valentine” themed craft for a while (see the last few weeks for others) and it’s a real cutie!

Valentine Heart Knitting Pattern, Tutorial:

Today I have been working on a little pattern for a Valentine Heart and I am so please to be finished and to be able to share it here. It really is the easiest pattern, knitted entirely in garter stitch, flat with the slightest shaping on the sides. They knit up quickly and look wonderful in garter or stocking stitch too, if you would like to add some variation. I embroidered a heart on mine, but you could also embroider the word ‘love’ or someone’s name for instance, too. Ok enough talking from me, here is the pattern:)

Red yarn for your heart
White yarn for embroidery
Roving for stuffing
Wool needle for sewing up

Pattern: (Knit two sides)
Cast on 1 stitch.
Row 1: Knit
Row 2: Increase into the first stitch, knit to the end, increase into the last stitch. (3 stitches)
Row 3: Knit
Row 4: Increase into the first stitch, knit to the end, increase into the last stitch. (5 stitches)
Row 5: Knit
Row 6: Increase into the first stitch, knit to the end, increase into the last stitch. (7 stitches)
Row 7-8: Knit
Row 9: Increase into the first stitch, knit to the end, increase into the last stitch. (9 stitches)
Row 10: Knit
Row 11: Increase into the first stitch, knit to the end, increase into the last stitch. (11 stitches)
Row 12: Knit
Row 13: Increase into the first stitch, knit to the end, increase into the last stitch. (13 stitches)
Row 14-21: Knit
Row 22: Knit 2 stitches together at the beginning of the row, knit until the last 2 stitches and knit 2 together. (11 stitches)
Row 23: Knit 2 stitches together at the beginning of the row, knit until the last 2 stitches and knit 2 together. (9 stitches)
Row 24: Knit 2 stitches together at the beginning of the row, knit until the last 2 stitches and knit 2 together. (7 stitches)
Cast off

Once you have knitted two sides, sew right sides together and leave a little opening for stuffing. Turn onto the right side and stuff. Once your heart is lovely and firm, sew closed.
Sew a thread at the base of your heart, push your needle up throught the inside of the heart and pull it out the top of the heart.
Push the needle back into the top of the heart and pull it out the base of the heart where you started sewing.
Pull quite tightly so that a depression is seen on the top of the heart giving you the wonderful heart shape:) and finish off.
I embroidered a little heart and also added some yarn for a hanging ornamnet:)


Please note, this pattern is for personal use only, and not for resale, items knitted from this pattern may not be sold for commercial purposes, thank you.

This tutorial is brought to you by Natalie, of Woolhalla

Please visit Linda at Natural Suburbia where you can see her original post and get to know her better. She is a homeschooling mother of four little souls from South Africa, as well as a knitter, pattern designer, gardener, homesteader and trying to be as self sufficient as possible…

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Friday Feature with

Today’s interview is with Tiffany, of Fair Trade Family. Enjoy!
Tell us little about yourself!

My name is Tiffany Nixon.  I am originally from Chicago and moved 8 years ago to the Phoenix area.  I have four boys (ages 5 to 12) and have been married for 13 years.  We school at home so that we can have active busy lives otherwise.  I have coached soccer for the last 4 years,and am passionate about health, nutrition, and exercise.  I have lost 56 pounds and counting by focusing on an active lifestyle and raw vegan foods.

What do you make and how long have you been creating?

I make play foods from natural materials and some custom knit and crochet woolies for cloth diapering.  I have been crocheting and knitting since I was about 5 (almost 30 years ago).

What inspires you?

I am inspired by the colors of nature and by the delicious and nutritious foods around me as well as a passion to see more natural materials and fewer toxic toys in our homes.

What got you started working with yarn?

My friend and I loved playing with yarn during our summer breaks from grade school.  We had huge plans for a five-story-high store which would sell our crocheted goodies.  At the time all we could make were chains and long uneven scarves.  Of course, we didn’t anticipate the internet or any of those possibilities.

How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?

I have been on Etsy since July 2006 and have been very pleased.  I started out a couple years before that on and sold my first 1000 or so orders there.  Etsy  had a learning curve for me but I have been very pleased with the broad customer base and return customers there. 

What advice would you have for other Etsians?

I love the teams on Etsy.  Find one that really fits with who you are and what you sell and try to really be involved.  The support from the teams is really helpful when starting out and when you need new ideas or advice.   The general etsy forums gave me great ideas at first but i soon became wrapped up in the busy-ness of it all and had less time to work my business and to craft.  I do think social networking is worth it but I do better with a full store and happy customers.

What do you hope to learn/gain/contribute from being part of the Natural Kids group?

The longer I spend with Natural Kids the more excited I am to be part of the team.  I love being able to recommend other vendors with positive feedback and great business ethics to my friends and customers.  The networking possibilities as a team far outweigh the individual and the support the vendors give to each other is really valuable to me.

What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?

I remember reading once that some new parents were overwhelmed when promotions for products or even breastfeeding focused on giving your baby “the best.”   The experts say that parents who know they can’t afford the top of the line car seat or stroller; who know they have to return to work at 6 weeks postpartum; who can’t buy 100% organic will just go for what they can do and not be as excited about “the best.”  The thing is, with natural toys, there are so many great options out there and the alternatives aren’t just a little less than the best, they are toxic.  It is worth investing in a few beautiful toys made with natural materials that will last for many many years.   I have wooden toys that I bought 12 years ago and play foods that have gone through several children.  Playsilks and organic t-shirts have become part of the costumes and the sets for movies my children have written and filmed.  Natural toys tend to grow with our children since they are more open-ended.  I love buying toys that allow for imaginative play.

Your links?!/fairtradefamily

Thank you Tiffany!
This interview was by Kat, of kats in the belfry.

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How To: Knit a Pumpkin

It’s Fall! It’s October! It’s pumpkin time! Dust off your knitting needles for this great little pattern by Linda. Her original post on her blog, Natural Suburbia, has plenty of pictures for step-by-step guidance and some handy suggestions for pumpkin use.

Materials Needed:
Wool needle for sewing up
Circular needles
2 double pointed needles
Orange yarn for your pumpkin and green for your stem.
Fleece for stuffing

I have knitted this pumpkin using the magic loop technique.

With circular needles cast on 9 stitches.
Round 1: Knit the first round.
Round 2: Increase into every stitch in the second round, you will now have 18 stitches.
Round 3: Knit 1 round.
Round 4: Increase into each stitch in the 4th round, you will now have 36 stitches.
Round 5 to 9: Knit
Round 10: Knit 2 together all across the round.(18 stitches)
Round 11: Knit.
Round 12: Knit 2 together all across the round. (9 stitches)
Round 13: Knit.

Leaving a long thread, break yarn and thread onto a wool needle, thread your wool needle through your stitches, stuff and pull tight. Do not overstuff as this might make your pumpkin look too round, I understuffed my pumpkin and the convolutions of the pumpkin’s skin showed up quite nicely. The wool I knitted him in was also a little on the chunky side and handspun and this worked quite well:)

Once you have closed the top opening of your pumpkin, take your needle, push down through your pumpkin, pull out on the other side and pull tight. This makes a depression on the top of your pumpkin. Sew tightly underneath.

Pick up 2 stitches in the middle of the top of your pumpkin, attach your green thread and knit an I-cord for a stalk.

Sew in all your ends and you are finished, enjoy!!

(This pattern is for personal use only 🙂

Linda gives her four children the credit for inspiring her to create the wonderful Waldorf inspired knitted and wooden farm animals, gnomes and other toys that inhabit her Etsy shop. Knitting patterns for toys and finished treasures are all available from Mamma4earth.

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Friday Feature with Woolies

Tell us little about yourself!
I’m an old married lady (lol), with two teenage boys. We live on a little ranch, with two horses, four dogs and two cats. Periodically, we have other animals – various rodents, goats….I really want a desert tortoise. We’re from the east coast, but now live in the wild west – southwest Arizona. I love the wildlife here, and the mountains. The heat – not so much! I work full time for an advertising agency, but have the wonderful luxury of a home office – which gives me time to lurk on etsy all day. Don’t tell anybody!

What do you make and how long have you been creating?
I am a knitter. My Mom taught me to knit when I was a little girl. I used to knit baby clothes, but when I opened Woolies on etsy almost three years ago, my shop evolved into stuffed animals. I can remember saying (a LONG time ago) to my sister in law that I was always searching for patterns for softies. Finally, I found some great ones, and have developed some of my own as well. I also sew, and make some softies at the sewing machine. Everything at Woolies is made from natural fabrics. I’m a yarn junkie, and could easily develop into a fabric junkie. And then I got into jewelry making, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.

What inspires you?
I can still remember what it felt like to be a small child and hug/hold my stuffed animals. I went everywhere with them. (I still have one, Lucky, a horse). What a comfort my animals (both stuffed and otherwise) were to me, during a difficult -and  a bit lonely – childhood. I want my animals to provide the same sort of comfort and love to children. My stuffies are all very good listeners – just in case you wondered.

What got you started with making knitted and soft toys?
Hmmm, might have answered that one already? I am a true animal lover. And a true lover of anything soft and squishy (which includes cookies and brownies). It was natural that Woolies became knitted soft toys. And I have my Mom to thank for teaching me to knit.

How long have you been on Etsy and how has it been for you so far?
It will be 3 years in just a couple of weeks. It has opened an entire new world for me. I love it here.

What advice would you have for other Etsians?
If you really want your Etsy shop to be a business that provides an income, you have to treat it like a business. Selling on the internet is a vast undertaking. I do not pretend to fully understand SEO, for example, but am trying to learn. Don’t expect all your sales to come from buyers on Etsy. I recommend reaching out across the world – via advertising – to reach your target audience.
If I could tell shop owners just one thing – treat your customers like you would want to be treated. Excellent customer service is the best thing you can do to grow your business.

What do you hope to learn/gain/contribute from being part of the Natural Kids group?
It wasn’t that long after I started to sell on Etsy that I discovered the Natural Kids Team  – and it was like meeting your new best friends without even expecting it. Like minded women (mostly), making incredible, wonderful, items for kids. From natural materials. Ecstasy. Now that we have our website up and running beautifully, I just want to continue to grow with the team. I was leader for about a year and a half, and I’m very happy to relinquish that role!

What thoughts do you have for parents on the importance of natural toys for creative play?
Children’s imaginations are incredible things. I love to see a child come alive, with a natural toy in their hands. I think a big set of natural blocks is one of the greatest toys a child can have – let them imagine a city or a fort or a tunnel. One day I’ll write a book – Plastic is the death of the human race. (lol).

My items can be found at:
Also several toy stores and online stores.
My blog:

Interview by Beccijo of The Enchanted Cupboard