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How to support people with dementia by knitting a basic hand muff….

Do you knit? Have you heard of Twiddlemuffs?

They’re a knitted muff with items attached that a patient with dementia can twiddle in their hands. People with dementia often have restless hands and like to have something to keep their hands occupied. It provides a wonderful source of visual, tactile and sensory stimulation and at the same time keeping hands snug and warm.

We are hoping that the Waterbeach knitters will come forward to put their skills to good use to help us to create Twiddlemuffs for the Elderly Care Ward at Addenbrookes and people known to us.

Finished or unfinished twiddle muffs can be left with members of Waterbeach MU or in the MU cupboard in St John’s Church Room. We have regular ‘finishing’ sessions to stitch up and sew on the ribbons, buttons and pom poms. Anyone is welcome to attend! We can then deliver the finished products to Addenbrookes.

Please contact us at muwaterbeach@gmail.com or 07715908694 for further information.

Thank you for your support!

If you cannot knit, but would like to contribute to this project, donations of wool, oddments or full balls, plus decorations – large buttons or beads, ribbons, pompoms will also be gratefully received.

Twiddlemuff instructions

  1. Materials

This muff pattern is perfect for using up left over and odd balls of wool.

Needles: 8mm circular or 6.5mm straight needles.

  1. Directions

Cuff: Cast on 40 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.

Muff 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). Cast off.


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 muff body. Sew the two ends together, again using a neat edge to edge stitch.

  1. Decoration

Now is the time if you want 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.

Washing instructions:

Hand wash at 30°C – carefully! Leave to dry flat. No drye