The Twiddlemuffs are coming!
30 January 2019
Not many people will have heard of Twiddlemuffs, but what a simple, yet, amazing creation they are!
Twiddlemuffs started life in America in the late 1990’s, as a way to keep a grandparent’s hands active, engaged and warm. They’re basically colourful knitted hand muffs (or tubes) with different items sewn on the inside and outside, such as beads, buttons, finger puppets and pockets. They offer visual, tactile and sensory stimulation for people with dementia and other conditions and can minimise agitation, increase finger flexibility and soothe fidgety hands. They’re also very comforting and great for keeping hands warm and snug (hence putting items on the inside too!).
Rejuvenate!, a creative group for carers, make Twiddlemuffs in Herefordshire and co-founder Maggie Sanderson, told WISH:
“I began making Twiddlemuffs for residents with dementia at the care home where my mum lived and couldn’t believe how effective they were. I’ve been making them for different local organisations for over 18 months now, which has helped to raise over £200 for the Alzheimer’s Society.
“I’ve also found that Twiddlemuffs are great for young people with autism and they’ve even helped children who bite their fingernails or suck their thumbs. They also have therapeutic benefits for those who create them, as arts and crafts, including knitting, can boost an individual’s wellbeing by reducing stress levels and helping with pain relief.”
If you’d like to know more about Twiddlemuffs in Herefordshire, contact Maggie Sanderson at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To make your own Twiddlemuffs, please follow the below pattern and if you’re interested in donating them to Rejuvenate!, they can be left at The Courtyard’s box office on Edgar Street in Hereford, marked for Maggie’s attention.
How to make Twiddlemuffs
- Wool: A selection of leftover / odd balls of wool (different textures and colours are great for stimulation).
- Needles: 8mm circular or 6.5mm straight needles.
- Decoration: Buttons, beads, ribbons, lace, scraps of fabric, plaited wool, crocheted flowers, pom poms and knitted pockets or finger puppets (anything which can be twiddled, but isn’t sharp and won’t break).
- Cast on 40 stitches using two strands of double knitting wool or one strand of chunky wool.
- Use a stocking stitch (knit a row, purl a row) for 11 inches / 28 cms.
- Continue using a stocking stitch and use up any odd balls of wool or those with different textures, such as chunky, mohair, eskimo and chenille.
- Knit until the muff measures approximately 23 inches / 58.5 cms.
- Cast off.
Finishing and decoration
- Neatly sew the long edges together using an edge to edge stitch with the purl side toward you and turn the muff inside out.
- Push one cuff up inside the muff body until it meets the other cuff, then neatly sew the two together using an edge to edge stitch.
- Decorate your muff with at least six decorations on the outside and four on the inside, using a variety of textures and colours.
- Make sure everything is sewn on tightly, with no loose threads, so they can’t be pulled off.
You can also download a copy of the Twiddlemuff pattern to keep in your knitting bag!