Now I just assumed that everyone knew what a twiddlemuff was, and it’s nothing to do with Ann Summers! At the Thornton Dale Show the WI had a whole table of them! “What’s with all these twiddlemuffs, they are everywhere!” commented a lady standing to next to me. I’ll tell you what I told her.
People with dementia have what is known as restless hands, and they fiddle with everything, especially medical equipment when they are in hospital. A twiddlemuff, is a muff to keep their hands in, and warm, just like Lady Up Her Own Nose in her posh carriage, back in the day. And the twiddle is the buttons, textured yarn and other bits and bobs attached to the muff to twiddle with , rather than the needle stuck in a vein! It also helps stimulate the senses, and no more about Ms Summers here !
Instructions abound for them on the internet, usually with diagrams and descriptions which quite frankly bamboozled me. Then a very nice lady came to the library hoping to recruit knitters and with her she had some real life examples. Now all of the instructions say helpful things like cast on 40, 48 , 45 stitches, use size 5-7 mm needles. But Which ones!!
So here’s what I did. I used 5mm needles, I cast on 50 stitches and used chunky or two strands of DK yarn. I used machine washable yarn figuring it would get grubby and need a wash or several washes.
I then knit for 24 inches swapping yarn frequently. I tried to use a variety of yarn and strong colours , figuring that old eyes are weak eyes. I also varied the patterns but only using knit and purl stitches. I was tempted to put in some bobbles but I didn’t.
There is some of the lovely snowflake yarn in there all fluffy and soft and some tinsel yarn which I paired with a strand of matching DK yarn. I tried to make the cast on and cast off ends quite dense in texture to enable a strong join.
Next add buttons and other twiddly bits. I didn’t add lace or anything which I intended to do as I found whilst I was knitting it I kept stroking the fluffy and tinsel yarn and decided it was quite tactile enough!
You are going to fold it in so leave the middle section without any extra bits,
Now fold in half , short sides together, right side inside and stitch the two sides together, not the cast on/cast off sides.
Then turn right side outside.
So you have this on one side, I left the yarn sticking outside for a bit more twiddling, having secured it tightly inside already.
The other side looked like this.
Now fold it middle to top to creat a muff with twiddly bits inside and outside, and sew the middle to the cast on/off edges.
I used a ladder stitch and then over sewed it to make sure it was really secure.
And voila a twiddlemuff!
which I have to say is incredibly warm , strokeable and twiddliable!
It was also the most fun I have had knitting in a long while! Now can I just ask you to look at this bit again.
Apparently there is also a demand for twiddle blankets. I wondered if I knit in strips like this but longer with a garter stitch border and then joined them together to make a blanket, would it work? Or would it look a mess? Be honest Yes or No?
Anyway I am off to a Repair Cafe now, wish us luck! I find I am nervous, what if no-one comes…..