Twiddlemuffs (or twiddlemitts) are knitted hand-warmers that provide sensory stimulation for people living with dementia.   They keep restless hands busy and soothe and comfort those who are anxious or agitated.
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Twiddlemuffs (or twiddlemitts) are knitted hand-warmers that provide sensory stimulation for people living with dementia. They keep restless hands busy and soothe and comfort those who are anxious or agitated.

Twiddlemuffs are usually made from left-over acrylic wool, however fleece tubes and other recycled wool products are also suitable.

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  • Acrylic Wool; plain, thick, thin, chunky, mohair, ribbon
  • Knitting Needles: 8mm circular or 6.5 straight needles
  • Decorations


Muff Cuff:

  • Cast on 45 stitches using 2 strands of double knitting wool or 1 strand of chunky wool.
  • Stock stitch (knit a row, purl a row) for 28 cm or 11 inches.

Muff body:

  • Continue in stocking stitch for another 58 cm or 23 inches using different wool colours and textures as you go, (chenille, snuggly, chunky)
  • Cast off

Finishing and decorating:

  • Sew long edges together with the purl side up
  • Turn the muff inside out.
  • Push the cuff inside the muff ’s body and neatly sew together the two short ends.


  • Ideas: Ribbons, beads, flowers, buttons, loops, zippers, buckles, pompoms, pocket for a hankie
  • Very important, all decorating items should be securely attached so that clients cannot pull them out.
  • Decorate the inside and the outside of Muff with colourful items in different textures. How many decorations you use is up to you, 3 or 4 items on the inside and 3 or 4 on the outside would suffice.

Note: Clients must be supervised at all times for safety reasons.

The twiddlemuffs in this photo were donated by the lovely ladies from Sewing for Charity Australia

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Edeltraut Mc Bain 20th May 2022
Margaret Steward their was a request for twiddle muffs. For Aberdeen dementia unit ARI
Linda 2nd May 2022
Rita McAteer
I don't line them, but I crochet them with double strands. What I like to do is sew fuzzy socks inside. Great place for a tissue, or for extra softness to twiddle with or warmth. This has seemed to be a hit.
Margaret Stewart 19th Mar 2021
Is there a place in Scotland or Aberdeen I can make these for
Susan 19th Mar 2021 Activity Director
Can anyone in Scotland help Margaret please
Kay E 30th Sep 2021 Activities
Hi Margaret thanks so much for your kind offer! I realise you asked a while ago but I would be delighted with any donations of these if you're still interested in doing so. I'm in Scotland. We have many residents where I work with dementia that could definitely use them.

Not sure if I can post my email address here so I'll request in advance that the staff here pass it on to you if they need to edit my post. It's [email protected]. Thanks again!
Dawn 13th Mar 2021
Thank you! I did reach out to the coordinator of this project and she knows she can wash them and reuse them.
Susan 12th Mar 2021 Activity Director
Hi Dawn
I think this can be washed and used again
Dawn Nettesheim 12th Mar 2021

I have been recruited to crochet twiddlemuffs and just found out that the person who requested we make these is looking at them as a "one and done" project. Sounds like after someone uses it, it will then get thrown away. I am shocked by this as this can be time consuming to make. Has anyone else heard that these get thrown away instead of washed?
Susan 8th Feb 2021 Activity Director
Hi Marina
I am not sure it matters
Anyway you make them is fine
Perhaps someone else can help you as well
Marina Georgiou 7th Feb 2021
Hi new making u knit say 58cm of double knit chunky wool with 2 cuffs on either side as it does not state 2 cuffs..
Can u advise me on how it should be sewn together after cast off???
Susan 24th Oct 2020 Activity Director
Thank you Karen for your brilliant ideas
You must be careful that the smaller items you put on the vest or twiddlemuff is something that a resident would not eat
Thanks again
Karen 23rd Oct 2020
Thought I'd throw in that one doesn't actually have to be a knitter, I am certainly not. I have decided to use a beautiful jumper of my dear departed Dad's. I am chopping off the "arms" to use for the outside (complete with armband), split open and line with velvet that Mum used to upholster a chair with, add bits and bobs to both sides, and sew up. I have even found a photo Christmas key-ring with of my daughter on Santa's knee that Mum used for many years so I'll add as that well (to the outside obviously). Buttons, ribbons, lace, and a part of an embroidered hanky she made. My mother is in a nursing home with Alzheimer's and someone told me about Twiddle Muffs - I'd never heard of them. Mum was an amazing seamstress (shame I didn't take after her haha), but as a bit of a sentimentalist I have kept bits of lace etc from gowns she made and I'll add them to the twiddle I will make. I'll write her name on her hanky in permanent marker so the nursing home doesn't "share it around". Done. Hope this helps. Good luck, I think this is a very important project. x
Susan 21st Oct 2020 Activity Director
Hi Susan
Yes these are personalized
You need to know about the resident to put appropriate things on the muffs
There is a great variation in how long. This will keep a resident engaged
I have found that sometimes they will use it for a few minutes and stop in and pick it up again
Others have used it for a half an hour
I have no videos of residence using them and I wonder if anyone would be able to share one due to privacy issues
I think it’s all about trial and error
It also depends on what the resident find stimulating but not too stimulating
Good luck
Susan 20th Oct 2020 Recreation Director
Hi- maybe this is a dumb question, but are there any videos of HOW the residents/ patients actually use them/ respond to them? Are the residents wearing them as cuffs on both arms? I work full-time in memory care assisted living and think a few fidgety types would enjoy...but for how long, I wonder? I assume they are personalized/ washed with their laundry? Anyone with day to day experience?
Rita McAteer 1st Oct 2020
I am 88 years old crocheting Tweedie Mitts- do they need to be lined. I have crocheted a single length x do I need to line it with linen.
Susan 2nd Oct 2020 Activity Director
Can anybody help Rita out??
Do they have to be lined??
Eileen lockwood 27th Jul 2020
I am making tweedle muffs and wondered if sew in ribbon bows or let the patient untie and tie them up
Geetaa V Sharmaa 6th Jul 2020
Thank you so much Solange and Susan :) for your suggestions. I am from Toronto, Canada, so i will probably try to find a location near my place where i can drop the twiddle muffs off. if you know of any center in Toronto, please let me know
Geetaa V Sharmaa 2nd Jul 2020
Hi, I have just finished making my first twiddle muff :). Where can u drop it off or mail? Please advise
Susan 3rd Jul 2020 Activity Director
Wow Geetaa
That is wonderful of you I hope someone will take you up on the offer
Where are you from??
Thank you
Solange 3rd Jul 2020 Diversional Therapist
Hi Geetaa, how nice of you to make the twidle muff. Chose a care charity of your choice and post it to them or better, visit the facility and give your generous work to a resident that does not have family or receive many visitors. I send love your way for your kind gesture.
Janet Hegarty 13th May 2020
Have I got the pattern wrong. It says knit muff cuff for 11 inches then carry on with muff body for a FURTHER 23 inches. Should this be a further 23 inches or 23 inches total length? The body is very long, much longer than the cuff. Please advise. Thank you.
Susan 13th May 2020 Activity Director
Hi Janet
The size is not that important
No matter what you do make sure you attach items very well
Sheri Lynn 8th May 2020 Regional Manager
I'm not much of a knitter myself but would these work if I purchased some leg warmers or gloves and then added pieces of fabric, buttons and such to those? I think some of our residents would really like them.
Susan 9th May 2020 Activity Director
Sheri Lynn
I think this would work as long as you attach the items on the legwarmers or gloves very securely
If you can send us a picture of what you have created because it might give others ideas
Thank you in advance
Ros 16th Dec 2019
Does anyone have a crochet pattern for these. I don't knit, but can crochet.
Susan 17th Dec 2019 Activity Director
Bess 26th Nov 2019
I've just started knitting the twiddle muffs find it so rewarding donating them and knowing it's helping and being appreciated. I also knit hats for our local baby unit, I do prem hats and comfort squares
Solange 26th Nov 2019 Diversional Therapist
Hi Bess, how kind of you to spend your time helping others. Thank you for sharing.
Adele 3rd Nov 2019
My mum was given one of these in John Hunter Hospital as she was picking at her arm, the Nurse said it stopped her doing it and she fiddles with the items on it. According to the Nurse they are a new concept to the Hospital and they have enough for 1 for each patient and mum is going back to the Nursing Home with it. I have thought of making them and am suggesting them to anyone in Aged Care or those working with sensory problems or parents with these and anyone else in the medical and teach8ng profession
Susan 5th Nov 2019 Activity Director
Thank you for your input Adele
Sharon Gates 9th Oct 2019
Love this idea! Actual like it better than fidget quilts...more compact..fits nicely in lap of someone in a wheelchair. Being a knitter I have lots of textured yarns which is ideal for this project.

Talita 14th Oct 2019
Thanks for your feedback Sharon!
Heather Dow 19th Aug 2018
Who would I contact to see If anyone would like to donate twiddle muffs or activity blankets for my memory care unit. I just started there and come to find out we have no budget. Anything or even ideas would be greatly appreciated. This site has been very helpful. Tomorrow we are making peanut butter bird seed feeders.
Lori 19th Nov 2018 Activity
I am also wondering if anyone is willing to donate twiddle mitts I work at memory care would really appreciate any
Jeanette Royston 15th Feb 2018
I have been knitting twiddle muffs and am wondering if you can give me a contact person in Sydney to whom I can give them. I have given about 50 away so far but these people do not need any more.
Thank you. Jeanette
Lori 19th Nov 2018 Activity
I would love to get some
Jacqueline Johnson 2nd Jan 2018
I started making Twiddle Muffs 1 year ago and donated to several nursing homes in my city.Since then I have had many private requests and have now passed the 200 mark.I've quit counting. I've specialized in personalizing them to the person behind the disease which seem to go over very well. Besides the muffs I've sewn and knitted activity mats, and now am putting activity boards together for the men. All are donated free of charge and made from donated materials. I've never been happier knowing a little creativity can bring such joy to a person in need.
Happy New Year to all.
Solange 2nd Jan 2018 Diversional Therapist
Hi Jacqueline, Happy New Year to you too. What you are doing is quite remarkable, how kind of you. All the best!
simonne 14th Apr 2019 Services Coordinator
What boards are you making the men???
Solange 18th Apr 2019 Diversional Therapist
Hi Simonne, regarding making tweedle muffs for men. Make them in plain colours and skip the decorations and accessories.
sue 20th Dec 2017 support worker
Had some fur material and made one from this, but placed items inside.
Talita 23rd Dec 2017
Good idea!!
Mikka 9th Dec 2017
Does anyone know a site to learn how to "SEW" Twiddlemuffs instead of knitting them???
Julie 21st Aug 2017 Activities Officer
have made this for residents very successful thanks for the ideas. I put some twiddle things inside as well and used soft fluffy wool. worked great.
Talita 28th Aug 2017
thanks so much for your feedback Julie!
Lynne 4th Apr 2017 Activity Co-ordinator
I have done over 175 twiddle muffs which have been sent out free of charge to care homes all around the UK. The joy, stimulation and texture is wonderful for the person in question. What is important that all the items are sewn on with wool so they don't come off and everything is secure. Items to use large buttons, charms, pompoms, ribbons, zips, pocket to put things in. Don' forget to put buttons or a small soft toy inside for added stimulation. HAPPY KNITTING EVERYONE. xx
Talita 4th Apr 2017
What an amazing contribution Lynne! I hope we hear more stories like this one : )
Jacqueline 3rd Apr 2017 Activities Coordinator
I think these look fabulous as they're easy to make if you're a knitter and probably cheaper than the ones that are sold . Can't wait to get someone to help me knit !
Talita 3rd Apr 2017
Thanks for your feedback Jacqueline! Good luck - I'm sure you will find someone willing to help.
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