}); Twiddle muffs and sensory tools Archives - A Little Bit Of Lou

Twiddle muffs and sensory tools

A home for all stuff twiddly.

How To Make A Mini Twiddle Muff/ Twiddle Cuff.

Today I thought I’d share the pattern for my mini twiddle muff, twiddle cuff.  I haven’t quite decided what to call it. Perhaps it’s a twiddle mitt? I’m not sure.

When I first designed my twiddle muff pattern I couldn’t help thinking about the people that lived in the residential home where I used to work.  There was one lady in particular that I remember with great fondness.  She was a lovely lady who had lived a very full life as a midwife.  She remained very active and busy whilst living at the home.

I couldn’t help but think that twiddle muffs, twiddle cushions and twiddle blankets are all very good but what about the dementia patients who like to move around and stay busy?

I decided to come up with a more mobile fidget item that they could take with them that they don’t need to remember to pick up.

I had seen various posts about fidget aprons but I wanted to make something that was more discreet and that could be used by either a lady or a gentleman.  I also wanted them to be quick and easy to make so that I could avoid having to reach for the sewing machine (thus saving my poor family members from foul moods and bad language).

This is what I came up with. 

Fidget mitt, twiddlemuffs, twiddle cuff.

Actually the picture above is the third mini twiddle muff that I made.  The blue twiddle cuff In the gallery at the top of this post was the very first one that I made. I can’t find any decent pictures of it though 🙁 .

Here’s the crochet pattern for the twiddle cuff base.

As you can see.  All of my twiddle cuffs are made using James C Brett yarn as the base.  I’m heavily addicted to James Brett yarns so this was the obvious choice for me.  Not only is it super soft and really nice to work with but (because of my addiction) I always have loads in my stash just screaming out to be used up (so that I can go and buy more 😉 ).

The twiddle cuff pattern is really simple.

Yarn – James Brett marble chunky.

Hook – 5mm

Stitches

Ch – Chain Stitch

Dc – Double Crochet Stitch

Ss – Slip Stitch

Foundation.

Ch 24. Join with a ss to form a loop.

Row 1.

Ch 2 (counts as dc), skip the stitch at the base of the chain, dc in every stitch to end. (24 dc stitches).

Row 2 to end.

Place a stitch marker in the ch2 from the previous round to help you keep track. working in a spiral dc in each stitch until you are happy that your cuff is long enough.

As you can see from my photos, the length of my twiddle cuffs tends to faire according to what I would like to put on them.  As a guide, the one that I am working on at the moment (pictured below) is 9cm long without it’s edging.

James c brett Wrist warmers

Edging.

I chose 24 stitches for my twiddle cuffs because it gives me lots of options for edging.  I tend to use stitches that I can attach twiddles to.  I have used shell stitches and chain stitches.  In the twiddle cuff pictured above I have used a chain and picot stitch.

Ch 5, ss into the third ch form hook, ch 2 skip a stitch then ss into the next dc. Rpt to end. 

Now all you need to do is add your twiddles. 

As I mentioned before, I like to attach twiddles to the edge of my twiddle cuffs.  

Holding a small item in your hand or fiddling with the ends of strings of ribbons can help to ease anxiety, not only for people with dementia but for anyone dealing with stress or in need of comfort. I thought it was important to have twiddles that are long enough to hold.  Apart from that the twiddles used are the same as I use for my twiddle muffs, cushions and blankets.

If you’re in need of some inspiration here’s a link to my twiddles galore post. 

Twiddles fidgets for muffs or blankets

I hope you have found this pattern helpful. If you have any questions, requests, or you just want to say ‘Hi” pop  a comment in the box below and I’ll get back to you ASAP.

By all means feel free to use my pattern to help you to create your own twiddlemuffs.  Feel free to share it with your friends and fellow crochet addicts but please please don’t reproduce this pattern, my pictures or any part of my blog without my permission.

As always, any product links found on this page or anywhere else on my blog are affiliate links.  This means that, if you purchase a product by using my link I get paid a small commission to help me to fund my crochet addiction.  If you would like to use my links I’d be very grateful but if not, no big deal.  I hope you enjoy reading my post anyway.

Cheers for now,

Lou 😀 

 

Twiddles Galore – Ideas for twiddle muffs.

 I can’t believe how well my twiddle muff post  has been received.  I’m so pleased that It is helping so many people to create twiddle muffs of their own for friends and family or to donate to local hospitals and nursing homes.   Thank you all so much for your comments, pins, likes and shares, both on here and on my various social media platforms.  It really means a lot to me, so thank you. 🙂

Since my last post I have been super busy working on custom twiddle muffs and adding to my sensory range.  I have ventured into the world of fidget blankets and twiddle cushions.  I have also created my vey own twiddle cuffs, which are mini twiddle muffs that can be worn on the wrist for people who are more mobile.

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  Large or small, the one thing all twiddle/fidget items have in common is their twiddles.  As more custom orders have rolled in through my Etsy store I have needed to become more creative with my twiddles.  I thought I’d share some of them with you today.

Cloth and Pocket

I am very active on Instagram. I love to share what I have been up to and get instant feedback form my followers.  I was scratching my head one day as to what to do next when one of my lovely followers pointed out that her Mum likes to fold things.  She told me how her Mum and her friends will sit at a table in their care home and fold cloths with the staff.  This got me thinking.  How could I incorporate a cloth into my next design.  As I mentioned in my previous post.  I am no seamstress but every year when “Sewing Bee” come on the telly I manage to convince myself that I’m some kind of haberdashery goddess.  I have numerous fat quarters (that I simply had to have because they’re so pretty) stashed around the house so I whipped the sewing machine out and set to cutting and hemming a large square.

If i can get away with crocheting instead of sewing then (as a fully signed up member of crochet addicts anonymous 😉 ), thats what I’m going to do.  I quickly whipped up rectangle of double crochet (US single) material and attached it with a slip stitch to my pice of work (in this case, the cushion pictured above).  All that I needed to do then was find a way to attach the cloth to my cushion so that it wouldn’t get lost.  Once again, I reached for my trusty crochet hook, this time using a nice large hook and 3 different colours of yarn at the same time I formed a slip knot and fed it under one of the stitches in my cushion pocket and back up the other side.  I then inserted my hook and made a chain that was long enough to be able to comfortably fold the cloth without the cushion getting in the way.  I knotted the end of my chain and sewed my cloth to the knot.  I was so pleased with how it turned out that I have used little pockets and cloths again and again.

Tassels, Ribbons, Plats and Knots.

I love to make my twiddle muffs look pretty and inviting but I always have to keep in mind that their main function is to have inviting, functional, long lasting twiddles.  Tassels, ribbons, plats and knots can be both pretty and functional.

I get away without sewing by threading my yarns through the stitches of my base cloth (you can find my cloth pattern here).  I then knot them at the top and either plat them or leave them as a tassel.

I weave ribbons through my stitches too, either leaving the long with knots at the ends to add texture, weaving them in and out to make pull-able loops or feeding a button on to the ribbon that can be moved along it. In the pictures above you can see various uses of ribbons, yarn and string in order to create interesting twiddles.

Beads and Buttons are Brilliant!

What more can I say??  Beads and buttons are brilliant!!  I love using them, they come in such a wide variety of shapes, textures and colours.  They’re so bright and cheerful I can’t resist touching them so, on they go.  Either clumped together, threaded on ribbons or string, you’ll always find buttons and beads on my work.  I could spend hours sat on the floor puzzling out what to do next and (unfortunately for my other half) my bead addiction is developing very nicely along side my addiction to buying yarn (i’m going to sell it love…honest).

  As I mentioned earlier in my post I’ve been super busy making custom Twiddle Muffs.  I thought I’d share a few photos with you.  I always chat with my clients about their loved ones lives and loves.  Everything is made with them in mind I love being part of something so very personal.  

I hope you like the pictures and that they give you a few ideas for your own creations.

 If you would like to order one of my custom made twiddle muffs here is the link Custom Made Twiddle Muff.

Thank you for taking the time to read my blog.  Please give me a like and share and if you have any questions or anything in particular that you’d like me to cover please pop a comment in the box below. 

 All pictures designs and patterns are my personal property. Please ask permission if you would like to feature them.

Many Thanks

Lou

My Twiddle Muff Journey – How To Make A Twiddle Muff.

A few months ago my wonderful sister in law asked us if we’d do her a favour.  She works as a for a Cornish care charity and was adding another string to her bow.

 She had become a dementia champion, she had volunteered to deliver  an information session for The Alzheimer’s Society and needed some practice before she stepped out into the big wide world delivering her information to the greater public.

Of course we said yes, so here is where my journey began.

Emma (my sister in law) popped round one evening and spoke to us about dementia, she helped us to better understand what a person with dementia is going through and how we can better support them within our community.  

People are so quick to judge, poke fun at and even film complete strangers in the street, making a snap decision that they are just weird and that putting a photo or video of them on social media is the way to deal with their unusual behaviour.  They don’t stop for one second to consider that the person they are laughing at might need help instead of ridicule.  

It makes me sad to think that this has become an acceptable way to behave.

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How To Become A Dementia Friend

The Dementia friends course that Em delivered is designed to give people an understanding of dementia and the small things that could make a difference to people living in their community.

Emma explained a little bit about what it’s like to live with dementia, we then agreed to turn our new found understanding into action by agreeing to become dementia friends and help raise awareness within our community.

At the end of the course we all made a pledge to do just one little thing to help raise awareness.  

We have little Dementia Friend pins to show our commitment to being more understanding and proactive.  

Anyone of any age can become a Dementia Friend, our youngest son does his bit by wearing his pin to school every day along side his school council badge, he has used his new knowledge to discuss dementia with his friends and school teachers.  

I decided that I would use my new found knowledge of dementia, the unrest and anxiety that it can cause to help me design twiddle muffs and blankets to keep restless hands warm and entertained.

I put my thinking cap on, grabbed my crochet hook and dived in to my yarn stash.  

This is what I came up with.

Garden Twiddle Muff

 

My first attempt was made with a garden loving lady in mind.  

I created grass and flowers and added raffia and string that could have been used to tie back saplings when pottering about in the garden on a warm spring afternoon.  I then added plats, a ruff and a button with its own loop to help keep restless hands busy.  

I finished my twiddle muff of with a fleece lining for extra comfort ad to cover up the ends and knots from where I attached the various twiddles.

Each prototype I make is donated to Cornwall Care who pass them on to their residents.  

I have photographed each muff and popped the pictures up in my Etsy store as a guide to anyone who would like to place an order for their loved ones.

Here is the basic twiddle muff pattern.

The main body of the twiddle muff is made using a James C Brett, marble chunky yarn and a UK 5mm US H hook.

I found that by using a UK double crochet the material produced was strong and durable and the gaps between stitches were perfect for treading ribbon and yarn through.

To make the main body all you need to do is;

Chain 52

Row 1

Double (US single) crochet into the second chain from your hook then double crochet along the rest of your chain to the end.

Row 2

Turn your work and chain 2, miss the first stitch then double crochet to the end.

Repeat row 2 until you have completed 50 rows.

Fasten off leaving a long tail. This tail will be used to sew the two edges together to complete your muff.

Twiddlemuff base cloth and ribbons

 

 That’s the main body done, now its time for the fun bit

There is no right of wrong way to make a twiddle muff.

Making a twiddle muff is a the perfect excuse to let yourself go wild and dive into that stash of yarn that is safely hidden away from your other half so that they don’t know about your addiction 😉

Here are a few of the twiddles that I’ve whipped up over the last few months.

 

Grass

To make the grass in the photo above take 2 different shades of green acrylic double knit yard and cut several strands of approximately 15cm in length.

Using a 4mm/G hook to help pull the yarn through the gaps between the stitches so that it is half way through.

Secure each strand with a knot then turn your work over.

Using your hook, pull the strands of yarn back through the material, leaving the knots on the other side. Make sure you pull the yarn through different holes so that it spreads into a nice clump of grass.

Keep going until you are happy with the effect then give your grass a trim.

 

Ribbons, Bows, Buttons, Beads and String.

 I don’t know about you but my craft related hoarding is not limited to yarn alone.

 Every time I buy something with a lovely tag, piece of ribbon or spare buttons they get squirrelled away for a rainy day craft project that never quite seems to happen.

As a result of this I have a substantial collection of bits and bobs that are perfect for twiddle muffs and twiddle blankets.  

Once I have finished the main body of my twiddle muff I raid my stash and see what I can rustle up. As long as they are securely attached anything goes.

 I find that it helps to have a theme in order to stay on track.

I love talking to the family members of the alzheimer’s patient and hearing all about their loved ones life and loves.  I use this precious information to help me create a bespoke item that is just for them.

 

A Simple Flower

I use acrylic double knit yarn for the majority of my twiddles.  It is bright, cheery, hard wearing and machine washable, which makes it perfect for twiddle muffs.

For this flower you will need a 4mm/G hook and a couple of different colours of yarn.

Chain 4 and join the ends with a slip stitch.

Round 1 

Chain 2 , 9 double (US single) crochets into the loop joining with a slip stitch into the second of the ch2. 10 stitches.

Round 2

Chain 2, double crochet into the same stitch, 2 double crochets into each stitch, join with a slip stitch. 20 stitches. Change colours.

Round 3

(Chain 3, dtr 2 tog (US tr2tog) over the next 2 stitches, ch 3, slips stitch into the next stitch, slipstitch into the next stitch) repeat 5 times ending with 1 slip stitch into the first stitch.

Fasten off. leaving a long tail so that you have plenty of yarn to attach it to the main body of your twiddle muff with.

I also make twiddle cuffs.  They are designed with more active people in mind. Here is a link to my twiddle cuff tutorial. 

Here are a few pictures to give you some ideas of other twiddles.  

I tend to place all of my twiddles in the middle third on my base material so that they are all on the one side when the edges are sewn together but lots of people place pockets ribbons and other twiddles on the back even inside their twiddle muffs.

If you’d like to know how to make any of the twiddles in the pictures pop a comment at the bottom of the page and I’ll add it to my next blog post.
 

Once I am happy with the over all appearance of the twiddle muff I secure the twiddles firmly, keeping all knots on the back of my fabric.  I then line the with fleece.

 I am no seamstress.  Each year I sit down and watch The Great British Sewing Bee and manage to convince myself that somewhere buried deep inside me is an awesome seamstress who is dying to break out but alas, she is yet to make an appearance.

So with massive apologies to my more accomplished friends, here’s how I fleece line my twiddle muffs.  

Step 1

Lay the fleece out with the main twiddle muff material on top.

Step 2

Cut around the muff material leaving an additional 1.5cm on each edge. You should now have a piece of fleece that is 3cm longer and wider than your twiddle muff base.

Step 3

Fold over the 1.5cm allowance on the top and bottom edges and pin into place.

Step 4

Using a straight stitch on your sewing machine stitch along the top and bottom hems.

Step 5

Place your 2 pieces of material back to back, lining up the top and bottom edges and pin them into place.

Step 6

Being careful not to catch any of your twiddles in your machine, stitch along the top and bottom edges starting 0.5cm in from the edge and finishing 0.5 cm from the end.

Step 7

Sew the last two edges of the fleece together

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Step 8

Using the long tail that you left when you made your base material sew the two sides together to complete your twiddle muff.

Work in any loose ends and you’re done. 🙂

The next time you’re stash busting give a twiddle muff a go they’re the perfect gifts for people with dementia.  If you don’t know a alzheimer’s patient yourself, make one anyway and donate it to your local hospital or nursing home and brighten someones day.

If you would like to become a dementia friend click the link below the Dementia friends badge and it will take you through to some more information.

All pictures designs and patterns are my personal property.  Please ask permission if you would like to feature them. 

Many Thanks

Lou