St John’s Hospice, an independent charity located within the Hospital of St John and St Elizabeth in St John’s Wood, provides specialised palliative care to more than 4,000 terminally-ill patients and their families every year.
‘Twiddle muffs’ are a knitted or crocheted band with items attached that patients living with the advanced stages of dementia can twiddle in their hands during their hospital stay. They help provide stimulation and they are invaluable to patients as people with dementia can hold and ‘twiddle’ to help any restlessness and agitation that they might experience.
They are calling for crafty folk to put their knitting/ crochet/ Sewing know-how to good use. There are a huge variety of available patterns on line but below are three fairly easy ones to follow.
Twiddle Muff Knitting pattern 1:
This pattern is perfect for using up left over and odd balls of wool
- Needles: 8 mm circular or 6.5 mm straight needles
- Cuff: Cast on 45 stitches using 2 strands of double knitting wool or 1 strand of chunky wool (one plain colour works best)
- Work in stocking stitch (knit a row, purl a row) for 11 inches
- Body: Continue with stocking stitch, but use up oddments of various textures of wool such as chunky, mohair, ribbon etc. until the work measures 23 inches (two strands of double knit for two rows each gives a lovely assortment of colours)
- If working with straight needles, lightly iron the long strip, then neatly join the sides together using edge to edge stitch (with the knit side facing out)
- Turn inside out and push the one-colour cuff up inside the body
- Sew the two ends together, again using a neat edge to edge stitch
- Now is the time to decorate the muff, inside and out, with ribbons, beads, flowers, zips, loops, pompoms, buttons etc.
- You could even knit a separate pocket for a favourite photo or a hanky
- Be creative, but make sure each item is securely attached
- If there could please be a loop on the muff at the top so a patient identification band could be attached to it, it would be greatly appreciated
Twiddle Muff Knitting pattern 2:
Twiddle Muff Crochet Pattern
It’s simple to crochet a Twiddle Muff – you need a tube that measures approximately 40cm long and 20 cm wide when laid flat (large enough to fit both hands inside comfortably). Depending on the weight of yarn you’re using, chain stitches that measure around 40 cm.
The best Twiddle Muff has a variety of textures, so you should vary the stitches you use, and use a range of yarns and colours. You could also work a series of bobbles, or add beads to your yarn.
You don’t need to weave in the ends when you change yarn, as the yarn ends can also be fiddled with. Attach a range of buttons, ribbons and patches – it’s a great way to use up any swatches you have from previous projects.
Once you’ve added decorations, fold the fabric in half and sew together, to make the tube.
If there could please be a loop on the mitt at the top so a patient identification band could be attached to it, it would be greatly appreciated.