Have you heard of a twiddlemuff? These simple-to-make knitted hand muffs are helping dementia patients up and down the country, but more are needed!
Twiddlemuffs are knitted muffs with interesting bits and bobs attached. Many patients with Alzheimer’s, arthritis and dementia find them comforting and therapeutic as they help encourage movement and brain stimulation – so much so that nurses at Warrington and Halton Hospitals promoted the use of twiddlemuffs as part of their Forget Me Not dementia awareness project and appealed to knitters for help, as each muff was handmade and donated to the hospital free of charge.
This pattern is written in UK metrics but it’s really easy to convert, just check out our yarn weight conversion chart and beginner’s guide.
These twiddlemuffs were made by Debbie Shaw, Sally Barrett and Angela Cox.
It was an article about the project in the local paper that got Sue Lawton involved at her local charity knitting group, Carers U-Knitted, in Warrington. “My father-in-law had dementia and I volunteer at our local carers’ centre that supports unpaid carers, many of whom are looking after loved ones with dementia,” explains Sue. “Knitting twiddlemuffs is a great way to use my skills to help.”
Keen knitter Sue has knitted more than 300 twiddlemuffs. “I decorate them with ribbons, buttons and zips and often put a Yale key inside them,” she says. “Older people often like to have a key as it makes them feel secure. People with dementia tend to have routines and become agitated in hospital as they are out of their usual routine. Having a twiddlemuff distracts them and helps to soothe their anxiety.”
If you’d like to knit your own twiddlemuffs for a local good cause, we have a free pattern for you to download below. It comes from UK Hand Knitting as part of their Commit to Knit campaign, which encourages knitters to make items for charity. You can find this and more great charity patterns in the Commit to Knit supplement from issue 147 of Simply Knitting.
You will need:
King Cole, Fashion Aran (70% acrylic, 30% wool, 100g/200m), 1 ball of Red (009)
King Cole, Moments (100% polyester, 50g/90m), 1 ball of each: Red (478), Yellow (1610)
A pair of 5mm needles
Ribbon or cord
Download your free pattern:
To download your free knitting pattern, click on the link below and it will open in a new window. You can then save the pattern.
Twiddlemuff knitting pattern PDF