Making Monday

My first Twiddle Muff
Making Monday is focused on Twiddle Muffs. I first heard about these from my FB feed and followed the articles to see how they were made and used. It is basically a knitted tube with various sensory items attached. When given to a person who is blind or who has Alzheimer's, it creates a warm and soft exploration device which calms the person using it.

When I showed my mum, she liked it and explored a bit, but then put it down. I will leave it nearby to see if she wants to explore again tomorrow. Truly, she may be in the middle phase of the disease and doesn't need it as yet. I am seriously thinking of starting a charity knitting circle for this type of item. They can be found ready made, on the ALZ Store website but the cost runs around $40-50.00.
Twiddle Muff from the ALZ store.

The concept behind a Twiddle Muff is that it gives a patient with a diagnosis of dementia something to hold, explore, or stroke to calm themselves. The muff design also allows them to have their hands held in a cocoon of warmth whilst providing them with stimulation.

Pattern: Twiddle Muff by Warrington and Halton Hospital
Yarn: Red Heart Worsted on size 13 needles, yarn held double
This was a quick project, but not so enjoyable to knit with squeaky acrylic. The items I added include three pompoms, two buttons, a string of beads, a fabric pocket, a fabric pouch, holding marbles and a ribbon of same fabric, tied in a bow. This design is really a spring board for your own ideas and the yarns you have on hand. It is best done in a bulky weight or by holding the yarn doubled or tripled. I would definitely think about how it will hold up in the laundry when choosing yarn!

Flat piece and components before sewing.
It was a pretty quick knit, given the large needles and bulky yarn. I sewed most of the component parts to the flat piece of knitting before I seamed the long edge, and then turned the lining side inside and seamed the ends. I did use my sewing machine when I put the pocket and pouch of marbles on the knitted piece. I used the yarn to tie down the buttons and when I attached the pompoms, I used a double strand to tie off the pompom and then using a crochet hook, I tied it securely to the inside. I did not sew the tube together until I had all of the components attached. The free pattern gives you basic directions and you could improvise as you go if you like.

Pocket, beads and ribbon.
Inside is a cushy pompom (and a bag with marbles sewn in).
Buttons from an old pea coat, to look at and touch.
So, that is a little about Twiddle Muffs. They seem to be more popular in the UK, do you think we can bring this to our local nursing homes with a charity knitting project??


As a Nurse I would be interested in knitting these it would be a great idea for a research project for Nursing students.... One way to get it out there.

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