Scarborough Hospital appeals for knitted items to help those with dementia

Scarborough Hospital’s community fundraising team has put out a call for twiddlemuffs, twiddleblankets and shawls to help their elderly patients this winter.

Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 12:37 pm
Updated Wednesday, 23rd December 2020, 12:39 pm
May Liversedge shows off a completed twiddlemuff and shawl

Twiddlemuffs are knitted hand warmers created from different coloured and textured wool with a combination of beads, buttons, textured ribbon strands and tassels attached both inside and out.

They are perfect to keep dementia patients’ hands active and busy and provide a distraction from the medical equipment that might otherwise be played with.

Maya Liversidge, community fundraiser as Scarborough Hospital said: “Dementia sufferers like to put their hands through the twiddlemuffs. They love the different colours, textures, zips, buttons and toggles.

“We also need twiddleblankets of any size and shawls to help patients feel cosy and warm if they are unable to wear a dressing gown due to medical equipment.”

“We need items in a range of different colours, including some suitable for gentlemen, just mader from whatever wool people have left really.”

To ensure items are covid-free, donations are kept in isolation for two weeks in a sealed plastic box in the office. Staff are then told what items are available and they go and get what they want.

People living with dementia often have restless hands and like to have something to keep their hands occupied.

Twiddlemuffs provide a wonderful source of visual, tactile and sensory stimulation, and keep hands snug and warm at the same time. Twiddleblankets can also be created using the same principles.

To arrange to drop off items or for more information email [email protected]

You can find a simple Twiddlemuff pattern below:

You will need: -

Wool - leftover and odd balls of wool are perfect in different colours and textures -

Needles - 6.5mm straight or 8mm circular -

Twiddle extras - beads, ribbons, zips, buttons , knitted flowers etc. things that can be fiddled with but will not break or come loose and are not sharp to the touch.


Cuff - cast on 40 stitches using 2 strands of double knitting wool or 1 strand of chunky wool. Work in stocking stitch (knit a line, purl a line) for approx. 11inches or 28cm. -

Body - continue with stocking stitch, swapping wool types every so often for different colour and textures. Continue for approx. 24inches or 60cm. Cast off.

Finishing - neatly sew the long edge together with the purl side facing you, turn the muff inside out to hide the seam. Push the cuff inside the muff and neatly sew the short edges together to create the muff. -

Decorating - chose a good selection of twiddle objects to decorate your muff, aim for a minimum of 6 items on the outside and 4 on the inside. Make sure everything is sewn on tight and well attached so they cannot be pulled off and there are no loose threads.