Twiddling

Patricia’s post about knitting for good causes resulted in many suggestions (here on the blog and on Twitter and Facebook) of worthy recipients for our work. One, in particular, caught my eye because it was so local and covered two good causes: Incredible Edible Carmarthenshire (a group who promote community growing in public spaces) were asking for twiddlemuffs, apparently they keep a stock of them to hand out at events and they are running low. For those of you who are not familiar with twiddlemuffs, they are knitted or crocheted tubes, incorporating various textures and items that can be given to people with dementia so that they have something to occupy their restless hands, plus they can simply keep hands warm. I’ve made a few in the past, so I decided this would be a good way to use up some scraps and stash yarns.
Periodically I acquire yarn that I probably wouldn’t actually go out and buy, and projects like the twiddlemuffs can be a great way to use some of this up. My Crochet Sanctuary weekend resulted in me coming home with some lovely blue Scheepjes Softfun yarn, intended to be used for a hot water bottle cover that we started during the retreat. However, on reflection I decided I didn’t really want another hot water bottle cover and so I frogged my work and put the yarn to one side. Rummaging through my stash, though, I came across it and knew that it would be an ideal base for a twiddlemuff – washable and soft.
I started by crocheting a tube, with a few added stripes of yarn with different textures – a bobbly one, a couple of wooly ones, a bit of rough silk/cotton and some eyelash yarn, all left over from past projects.

Double the length, so it can be folded in on itself

I added a little pocket, found a couple of crochet flowers that I made when I was teaching a workshop and stitched these on and made two pompoms – one for the inside and one attached by a crochet chain to take in and out of the pocket. To add some texture, I tied on a piece of cotton tape and a length of silky cord. Finally I attached a few buttons – nothing too weighty, because twiddlemuffs shouldn’t be able to cause harm!

I photographed it right way round and inside out so you could see what treasures lie hidden. The orange bits are on the inside.

Back to the stash now to find the next lot of yarn that needs using up for a good cause…

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27 Comments

  1. It’s lovely, I’m sure it will make someone very happy.

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  2. What a lovely idea and you have put so much thought and work into it! One to file away for when I have finished the projects on the go.

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    • I have far too many projects already on the go, but this was small enough to take to Knit Night last week and once I’d started it I really wanted to get it finished. Trouble is I will probably start another for this week’s Knit Night. I really, really want to get the optical illusion blanket finished, but it’s really not portable.

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  3. I think it looks lovely. Such a good cause. My Mum loved hers.

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  4. Ann Pole

     /  April 3, 2019

    It’s lovely. I do recognise that grey fluffy wool though, and report that Shy and baby are only too happy you found a good use for their left over prickles.

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  5. Twiddlecuffs – well that is a new one to me!

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  6. Jan, this is a lovely work of art and quite inspiring! I recognised my hedgies not so prickly prickles yarn too – and I love the pocket. And the flowers and the buttons….. It’s a wonderful idea to use up the scraps and bit and bobs and to give some comfort and pleasure too. I’m adding this to the endless list of stuff to make 🙂

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  7. What a great idea!

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  8. chrissiefizz48

     /  April 4, 2019

    That is a great idea and I’m sure it will be appreciated. I’ve just started a charity crafting group in Weymouth, and twiddle muffs were discussed there this week. I also dress baby dolls for dementia patients, and they are welcomed by local care homes.

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  9. What a great way to use up all those odd bits of yarn! I’m sure someone will really appreciate your thoughtful gift… The flowers and pocket are lovely touches, and very fiddleable-with too!

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  10. It’s a great idea, but I just can’t like the name… Someone’s going to love it, whatever it’s called, so I shall just get over it 🙂

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    • Yes, it’s not the name I would have given it, but it does seem to have stuck. There seems to be a constant demand for the things, so I will make a few more with scraps and unloved yarn.… this could have been a scrap happy post, but I have something else lined up to fill that slot this month and it makes up for missing last month.

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  11. chrissiefizz48

     /  April 4, 2019

    Can I share some pictures of my dementia dollies on your website? Or do I need a site of my own? If so, could someone please let me know how to do this. Many thanks 😊

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    • You can set up a blog for free with WordPress, but if you would like to write a guest post here, then use the ‘contact me’ form on my ‘about’ page and we’ll sort something out

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  12. Blogs are so good for learning things. I had not heard of a twiddle muff and what a good idea. Yours is also really cute with the flower and the furry things and the pocket. I hope someone gets good use out of it.

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  13. Patricia Collins

     /  April 5, 2019

    Lovely using-up project that will bring pleasure to so many. We found that our local Arthritis charity was pleased to accept ‘just muffs’ i.e. no twiddles. Many of their members are unable to get into gloves and a warm muff helped keep hands warm. Alpaca lining was especially popular. This probably goes for other disability groups.

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  14. What a great way to use up some scraps of yarn!

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  15. Great idea – whoever thought of it originally – as it’s not something that would ever occur to me would help somebody with dementia. Just shows what I know. Another scrappy project to add to the list.

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  16. I’ve just read this again and now I realize why it took me so long to reply. I was trying to think of a word that just wouldn’t come until now. A friend of mine was making ‘fidget quilts which is on the same principle for Alzheimer’s patients. I like the idea of being able to put their hands inside what you have knit and keep them warm. Those are a wonderful idea even though I do not knit or crochet. Each is a great help to those patients with memory issues. You did such cute and interesting additions. I’m sure they will be much loved.

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    • They can be sewn – just use some fleecy fabric or, better still, some old knitwear and add whatever embellishments you feel like. Danielle reminded me that she makes little hearts and stuffs them with crinkly plastic, so there’s an additional noise and texture.

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