Knitters needed: Twiddlemuffs appeal at DBTH

While in hospital, patients with dementia or delirium can benefit greatly from some distraction.Which is why we are asking for local knitters to send us some handmade twiddlemuffs.

These garments provide sensory stimulation for patients, whilst also keeping their hands warm and snug. The twiddlemuffs have also been shown to have benefits for patients with learning disabilities and those who are receiving chemotherapy.

We are always on the lookout to replenish stocks of these garments, as we tend to use a lot of them on our wards.

If you or a friend would like to help knit some, detailed instructions can be found here.


  • 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 wool textures (such as chunky, mohair, ribbon etc.) until the work measures 23 inches
  • 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.


Now is the time 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.

For Crocheting

Instructions courtesy of 

To crochet a Twiddlemuff using double knitting (DK) yarn (that is yarn that recommends the use of 4mm knitting needles) use a 6mm hook and whatever stitch you fancy with about 40 stitches to the row.

Add textured stitches such as bobbles or thread beads and buttons onto your yarn and crochet them in as you go.

When starting a new ball of yarn, knot the ends together.  This will add an extra bit of fluff for twiddling.

When you have finished, sew or tie on your bits and bobs on one side only.

Fold in half and sew the top edge to the bottom edge.  then fold in half and sew again and you are done.

Washing instructions: hand wash at 30°C – carefully! Leave to dry flat. No dryers!

When finished, send your twiddlemuffs to Communications Department, Doncaster Royal Infirmary, Armthorpe Road Doncaster South Yorkshire DN2 5LT.