Yarn, Yorkshire and All Manner of Wonderful Things!

Making a Twiddlemuff!

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…..





Knit and Natter Friday!

I have been busy this week with lots of things!  All the Spring bulbs are in now. I love choosing new bulbs every year, having something to look forward to the other side of Winter! I have started the Autumn garden tidy up, which means another trip to the recycling centre with the debris is imminent.

I have also started to look again at my own Family History research. I bought myself a workbook in which to record names etc, it is helping show up gaps in where I got too when I did a lot of the work 8 years ago. I am hoping to go to the Borthwick Library based at York University next month, to search for Wills that are stored there.

So all that has left a little less time on the crafty stuff. I sewed buttons onto the Snowflake hoody!

They sort of disappear into the yarn but they are actually

ABC buttons! Then I had enormous fun knitting a Twiddlemuff.

It took a while to figure out what I was doing, so I took pictures as I went along to remind me, and I will write a separate post about it.

Then whilst I had the spare yarn ( not stash, but unused, leftover yarn) downstairs I crocheted a cat blanket!

Think that should be big enough for an outside kind of moggy.

Then I finally got round to starting to knit some gloves for ME.

The yarn is Sirdar Country Style DK, colour is called linen.

I borrowed this book from the library.

I have to say the projects inside are really CUTE, and the yarn they use is everyday yarn, not cost you a fortune hard to find yarn, which is a big plus to me. However two of the patterns are rattles and call for a rattle inner. I have never come across rattle inners for toys and I wondered if anyone else had, and if so where to buy them? Teddy growlers I have seen but not rattles. I am intrigued. I may also have to buy this book…..

Tomorrow is Repair Cafe day! That means weekend washing and shopping has to be done today. So organised!

Do tell what you have been doing this week, I so love our natters.

Have a great weekend,

Be Happy!



I think I may have established that we are not an orderly couple. I for one am organised chaos. Mr E is disorganised chaos. But we get stuff done somehow, sometimes, eventually! We both had organised Mothers!! Our sons are quite well organised too.

However, I am full of admiration for other people’s orderliness. Such as the people whose cottage we holidayed in Sussex. At the very neat entrance to the cottage was the most orderly herb garden. I loved it.

There is a different herb in each of those neatly box hedged areas.  Fantastic. I am just glad we didn’t choose disorderly as a prompt, so I showed you my herbs, which grow in three different and totally illogical parts of the garden.

Looking forward to seeing lots of orderly pictures this week. Please leave a link in the comments below.

Next weeks prompt is SHADOW!

Happy Snapping!

Faulty Towers Update!

I have received a very nice email from Faulty Towers. They have a new video ! Enjoy

A couple of Fridays ago when I was nattering away I mentioned the Repair Cafe I am part of in Kirkbymoorside. Andrea left me the following comment which really intrigued me.

“I was thrilled to see you mention Kirbymoorside. My grandmother used to work at the old children’s orthopaedic hospital there in the early 1930s – she was very proud of being ‘Matron’s maid’! She and my Grandad emigrated to New Zealand in the later 1950s – and here I am!
Is the hospital building still there?”

Now I have lived in the area and been a regular visitor all my life to Kirkbymoorside. My Dad had an office there, and my brother and I loved visiting him. He had a rather marvellous desk called a partners desk, whereby two people could sit either side of a desk with shared leg space underneath. It was a great game to hide there. Totally digressing here. The point is I had never heard of the hospital, and Kirkby as people usually call the town is small. Population between 3000 and 4000 people. Not big.

But I vaguely recalled seeing a booklet for sale on a children’s hospital.

Flurry of emails between myself and Andrea, some googling and an exchange of emails with the Kirkbymoorside history group, and bingo, I know exactly where the hospital site was. I was there just the week before at a rather interesting talk, on beggars in the 19 century and their appearances at the Quarter sessions.

This is the remains of the entrance to the Yorkshire Children’s Orthopaedic Hospital. Originally know as the Hospital for Crippled Children and later known as the Adela Shaw hospital.

I found the booklet for sale in a charity shop for Distressed Children in the Market Place.

Information Board at the Entrance Gates.

Adela Shaw had a privileged background, coming from and marrying into a wealthy family. But she put this to good use. Her first involvement with hospitals was near her home at Welburn Hall, a couple of miles from Kirkby, and the creation of a cottage hospital on land nearby. It is now been changed into two semi-detached houses, but is clearly recognisable. Dad always told me it was a fever hospital. He was nearly correct. It was used for people recovering from surgical procedures not infectious illnesses. He had it the wrong way round.

Adela Shaw was then instrumental in creating a hospital for injured soldiers in the First World War in Kirkby itself.

In 1924 an urgent need was identified to treat children who suffered from surgical TB, rickets and Polio.  These children could with the right care and treatment could be helped to lead full and independent adult lives. The idea was to provide medical and education on one site.

The wooden huts used for the injured soldiers were no longer needed, there was the perfect site. So you can now imagine lots of fund-raising, building , hiring of staff etc etc.

This clubhouse/hall formerly the British Legion Hall is sited on the old Ward 4 building. Gardens have been created on some of the site.

And housing on the rest of the site.

Andrea’s Grandmother joined a small group of girls coming from Hetton -le -Hole, Sunderland.( Not to be confused with the nearby village of Hutton-le-Hole, which I did for a bit, silly me). Now Sunderland is quite a distance from Kirkby, and I wonder why and how this came about? Andrea’s Gran Ethel was just 14 and only permitted by her parents to leave home because she was with a group of older girls.

I was thrilled when I found mention of a Tilly Anderson in the booklet, coming from Hetton-le Hole in 1926 as a nurse , one of those first employed in the hospital. She met and married a local chap called Frank Simpson. Tilly will have known Ethel.

The committee minute books are available to be seen at the County Records office. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if Ethel had a mention?

You can read a bit more for yourself if you like here or see for yourself in this video. The gentleman speaking is  a former patient from the 1960s, but the pictures on the video date from the 1920s onwards.

His account is very moving I thought.

I want to thank Andrea for first of all commenting on my blog and pointing me towards a fascinating part of local history. It would take five minutes to walk from the hospital to my Dad’s office. How can I not have known? Secondly to thank her for giving me permission to share her Grandmother’s memories.

I thoroughly enjoyed doing this bit of research , blogging is amazing isn’t it, you just don’t know what might turn up next.



It’s Scrap Happy Day at Kate’s, where you will find links to lots of bloggers using up their scraps. As it happens I finished the fluffy hooded jacket , gender neutral, this week. A lovely quick make.

There was leftover yarn to make these

With the jacket

And there is still some left over for something I have wanted to make for a while.  I shall have a great time choosing some buttons for this jacket on Saturday.

Repair requests have been coming in this week, the cafe is on the 23rd September. So far ripped trousers, a cracked large flower-pot and a printer which stops after three pages! I need not have worried that there would be no repairs for the volunteers.

I mentioned last week that we had a fun night to look forward too , it was terrific , let me tell you. The Faulty Towers Dining Experience.

I have not laughed so much in ages. Basically, Mr and Mrs Faulty and Manuel take over the dining room of a hotel for a night to serve you dinner. Yes you get a three course meal, which was good, but be warned the food is a prop and you are an extra!

Back down to earth, literally , I have been planting spring bulbs this week. I love planting bulbs at this time of year, it makes me think that Winter isn’t so long and soon Spring will be here again.

Did you know that it was Roald Dahl day, Wednesday this week , I think. Courtesy of Mrs T I bring you from The Enormous Crocodile.

The Roly- Poly Bird

and Muggle-Wump the Monkey

and all the time I was knitting costumes I thought I was knitting jumpers!

Moving on, I bought buttons for the little blue cardigan. The photos don’t show that it really is powder blue in colour.

And the buttons are little footballs in blue and white. Gender neutral ones of course! Apparently the shop ladies Grandson insisted on Chelsea ones, black and white footballs were not acceptable.

I never remember to tell you what the patterns and yarn are. This one is in 4 ply yarn, Snuggly pattern 4512, and the fluffy nonsense is a chunky yarn Sirdar Snowflake, pattern 1882. It’s a so and so to sew with but knitting with it  is a dream.

And do you know what next? I may just knit myself a pair of gloves. I have not made myself something for a very long time!

Meantime I am off to my Family History Group this morning, the first meeting after the summer break!

So do you have any plans for creating this weekend, do tell and join me in some nattering. Weather permitting I hope to be outside in the garden.

What ever you do have a great weekend, and

Be Happy,




I can’t choose just one beach from all my favourite photos, please help, which are you top three pictures from this selection.

Starting close to home,

Scarborough , January this year

Scarborough during Go Wild challenge this summer

The wonderful Whitby, November 2015

Bridlington , May 2015 , or possibly further afield to

Chesil Beach Dorset,

Dorset, June 2015, further maybe?

An action shot, Eastbourne, July 2014

Beachy Head, July 2014. Further maybe and a bit more drama

Giants Causeway , Northern Ireland, 2009. Bit more atmospheric perhaps?

Crete, 2009. Too old?

Crete 2014, maybe a bit too arty?

Parga, Greece, 2014. Greece really does look good in the evening.

Thasos , Greece, 2016. But so far we’ve only been to Europe.

San Fransisco then and the Golden Gate bridge or maybe you prefer this one from the Pacific Grove Road, south of San Fransisco?

I don’t know, far too many wonderful beaches.

Can’t think about beaches this week without saying a little prayer for all those devastated by the hurricanes and earthquakes this month.

The sea and beaches are beautiful but we must all take care.

Please let me know if you have a favourite picture amongst this lot, or even three. And please leave a link to your beach photo/s in the comments .

Next weeks word is Orderly, I’ll be back to just one picture!

Happy Snapping!


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