One of the really nice things about blogging is that you get to meet other bloggers online and recently I 'met' Maria from The Next Stage which is a blog about her next stage of life after retirement. I am always particularly interested in blogs written by people much the same age as myself as I like to see how they are adjusting to no longer being in the paid workforce due to retirement. Maria is a very talented person and shows some gorgeous craftwork on her blog. Recently in a post she showed photos of craft items she has been collecting to give to local charities and I was intrigued when she mentioned someone had knitted Twiddlemuffs which are calming mitts for people who suffer from dementia. What a great idea!
I contacted Maria and asked if I could use some of her photos on my blog and she was quite happy for me to do that. So all the photos you see are from her blog.
I had a look on Pinterest to see if there was any information there about Twiddlemuffs and there certainly was on this page. To be honest I had never heard of them but they seem to be popular in England as I noticed that several hospitals were asking knitters to donate them for their patients suffering from dementia. As people with dementia often have restless hands it is helpful for them to have something to keep their hands occupied and the muffs provide visual, tactile and sensory stimulation while keeping their hands warm and snug. They can be knitted, crocheted or sewn and usually contain strands of textured ribbons, beads and various fabrics which are attached both inside and out.
Maria is a member of Knitting for Brisbane's Needy which is a group founded by Karen Croke who explains why she started it up in this post by Maria a few years ago. What a generous organization!
The items you can see in the boxes have been made by some clever people and Maria collects them for the charity group K4BN and they are given out to those who need them and I would think they would be particularly busy in winter.
If you also think these are a great idea and would like to make some muffs to donate to a charity or an aged care home there are a number of patterns online and I will link to some I have found.
Another knitted Twiddlemuff pattern
Maria also mentioned on her blog that Education Units are requesting muffs for their students with Autism because of their success with calming down the students. How amazing!
Well now I will have to put my thinking cap on and see what I can make with my very basic knitting skills. I need to find some yarn that doesn't show up mistakes too clearly. LOL! Then again, I could try and sew some as that would be quicker I dare say. If I take too long to decide winter will be over before we know it. :-)