More news of Twiddlemuffs and other knitted aids….read all about it!


Do you knit? Have you heard of Twiddlemuffs?

They’re a knitted muff with items attached so that a patient with dementia can twiddle something in their hands on the wards at the RD&E, in nursing homes, local daycentres or in individuals’ homes. 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. Margaret Beech hopes that  many MU members will come forward to put their knitting skills to good use to help us to create more Twiddlemuffs as part of  dementia  awareness work. The soft knitted muffs contain strands of textured ribbons, beads and various fabrics attached both inside and outside, and can be costly if ordered from the internet so she  hopes that members will come forward to put their knitting skills to good use.

full of interesting things to twiddle!





Thank you for your support! or send your completed Twiddlemuff to the RC & E via: Twiddlemuffs C/o Health Information Centre (Main Entrance) Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust Barrack Road Exeter EX2 5DW  Not the MU office! but say that they are from MU members. Otherwise look around for suitale recipients in your local care homes or other places where they will be welcome.



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.

2. Directions

Cuff: Cast on 45 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.

3. Finishing  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.

Decoration: Now is the time if you want to decorate the muff, inside and out, with ribbons, beads, flowers, zips, loops, pompoms, buttons, etc. 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 dryers!

Other ideas for knitters:

Margaret Beech is asking for knitted baby blankets for the Neonatal Unit at Derriford hospital, Plymouth. The size required is 24″ x 24″ in synthetic double knitting wool in any colour. Please arrange for your branch to deliver direct to the hospital. Thank you.

Connie Hartnoll is asking for fingerless gloves for the Cherrybrook Ward at the RD & E as she has found from experience how cold your hands become when having chemotherapy.  Again please take these to the hospital direct and say that they come with love from the Mothers’ Union.

Margaret has sent in more photos and gives more details of where these wll be most welcome.

The baby clothes are for the baby unit and for anyone in need of them,this goes for all the items that are made. Twiddlemuffs for dementia patients, blankets for care homes. Hats, balaclavas,  and fingerless mittens for the Mission to Seafarers,the mittens are also needed at  Cherrybrook ward R.D. & E. for cancer patients. Hearts for the Breastcare unit. Zimmerframe bags, self explanatory.  All the small bits and pieces are for the shoe boxes at Christmas and the one thing I forgot are the crosses in my pocket which went out to every indoor member with their Christmas cards, it was a celebratory year and I thought it would be a good idea, took a long time to make them but it was worth it. Took them to do on my holidays. HOPE this gives you the Information you need.   Patterns are available in the office but must not   be taken away, printing can also be done there at a modest fee.   Some of the finished items are illustrated                                                                                                                                      The hearts, toys, hats, knitted crosses with the prayer poem.