No one can ever accuse Dina Merola Kraus of having idle fingers. I knew she was a terrific cook, especially her Italian fare, but now she is adding another accomplishment to her resume.

As she tells it, she had always had an interest in knitting and crocheting but could never quite get the hang of it. Going on YouTube, she searched “handmade blankets” and found finger knitting. That’s right, you use your fingers no needles. 

There are two types. One involves wrapping yarn around your fingers and the other is called a “loop method,” which is what Kraus does. Starting last fall, she made her family a small blanket and progressed from there. Now she has her own business with one employee — herself. 

To date she has made 16 blankets all custom ordered. Many of them were purchased as gifts as well as for the buyers themselves. Because they are made to order, recipients will have something that is specifically their own.

Kraus discusses with her clients the size of the blanket and the colors. The yarn is a heavy yet soft, making for a cuddly cover on cold evenings. When ordering our blanket we talked color and she chose a beautiful country blue, and I can tell you it is comfy and cozy (like most things in our house).

Making the blankets does not take long depending on how many orders she has and getting the right yarn. Luckily, she has Michael’s and Hobby Lobby near for those frequent purchases.  

She is looking at this as a little business and looking into a name to advertise. Designs by Dina? Currently most of her business has come through word of mouth or someone inquiring after having seen one of her blankets on Facebook. 

Weekends seem to be the time when she does most of her work when she can curl up with her yarn and get her fingers going. She would like people to know Easter and Mother’s Day are coming and there are some beautiful new shades of yarn she would like to work with.   

To contact Dina Merola Kraus you may find her on Facebook at

Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a store in Riverside that featured much of the talent of residents? Something to think about.