How to Soothe Dementia Patients with Free Twiddle Muff Patterns

Whether you enjoy knitting, crochet, or loom knitting, you can create twiddle muffs and bring comfort to dementia patients

Up until about 3 1/2 years ago, I didn’t know twiddle muffs existed. If you’d asked me for a twiddle muff pattern, I would have stared at you blankly.

But then I received a Facebook message from a gentleman in New Jersey named Brett Summerville. He told me he was coordinating a group of knitters to make “twiddle muffs” for people with dementia throughout his region. He also gave me a pattern that I could distribute here on Knitting for Charity.

Thus were my eyes opened!

free twiddle muff patterns
Twiddle Muffs
Photo: Jackie Awerman
(email Jackie at [email protected])

What Are Twiddle Muffs?

If you’re still wondering what twiddle muffs are, keep reading.

Twiddle muffs are soft tubes that offer a variety of textures and objects attached to the inside. “Muffs” because they have exactly the shape and size of muffs that people keep their hands inside of for warmth. “Twiddle” because that’s the muffs’ purpose: they give recipients items to stroke and fiddle with – aka “twiddling.”

One of the unfortunate effects of dementia is anxiety or agitation. I know that I personally have seen individuals in respite homes with hands that couldn’t seem to stay still. This is what makes twiddle muffs such a blessing for dementia patients. It gives their restless hands occupation.

As an added bonus, of course, it also keeps their hands warm and cozy!

Twiddle muffs have taken the charity crafting world by storm! I’m excited to see the many charity knitters and crocheters who have taken to this project. I think this is a beautiful way to say “thank you” to the senior dementia patients who have offered so much to the world during their long lives.

Free Twiddle Muff Patterns

Today I’m doing something I don’t often do with my free pattern collections. I’m offering patterns not only for knitting, but also for crochet and loom-knitting! This is such an important project that I wanted it to be available as one-stop shopping for everyone.

twiddle muffs
Twiddle Muffs
Photo: Brett Summerville

If you have a yarn crafting charity group, feel free to share this page with them!

A Perfect Family Circle Twiddle Muffs: I thought I’d begin with the pattern posted right here on Knitting for Charity! I’m forever indebted to Brett for letting me share this terrific knitting pattern.

Knit for Peace UK Twiddlemuffs: This pattern is very similar to the Perfect Family Circle pattern. But this one has a bonus of drawings that demonstrate the best ways to attach twiddle items and seam. (You’ll need to scroll down the page till you get to “adult patterns,” then click the “Twiddlemuff” link to download.)

free twiddle muff patterns
Twiddle Muff
Photo: Shirley MacDonald

Shirley MacDonald’s Twiddle Muffs: One of the original crochet twiddle muff patterns available. You’ll work this in the round in a spiral.

For Phylis – Twiddle Muff: Here’s another crochet twiddle muff pattern. This one offers a Facebook group (linked to on the Ravelry page) in case you get stuck or have questions.

Loom Knitted Twiddle Muff: And here’s a twiddle muff pattern especially for the loom knitters! One of the ladies in my church prayer shawl group likes to loom-knit twiddle muffs (hi Sharon!), and she’s able to turn them out very quickly this way.

Where to send your twiddle muffs? Check with your local senior living homes and see if they are interested. Otherwise, in the US you can send them to A Perfect Family Circle, while in the UK you can send them to Knit for Peace UK. (You can find Knit for Peace’s address in the pattern.)

Want more free knitting patterns for charity? Click here for your copy of "4 Quick Charity Knitting Wins" and start making a difference today!

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    1. Hi Margaret! I would suggest contacting your local assisted living facility to see if they would be interested in receiving your twiddle muffs. Many such places around the world accept them!

  1. One night at midnight I woke up and God put it in my head to use my stash to make fiddle muffs. I have only given 4 away but I’m making more for my doctor to give to his patients and a local nursing home. I love each one I make and fiddle with it as I’m making it. What joy this gives me.

  2. I have been making them out of fleece instead of knitting or crocheting them. It goes much faster and the patients like them just as well. They are made flat 14″x 14″ and can be buttoned into a roll with a single button and loop.