A “twiddlemuff” might sound like something that lives in a Fantastic Beasts movie or on Sesame Street, but, in reality, they’re far cooler than that.
I’m not overselling it, I swear.
“Twiddlemuffs” is the adorable name for homemade fingerless gloves adorned with all sorts of things a person can twiddle with, like buttons, zippers, ribbons, snaps, etc. They’re a genius little innovation that’s changing the lives of dementia patients around the world.
One of the side effects of dementia and Alzheimer’s is the uncontrollable desire to fidget with things like buttons, zippers, and small objects. Brenda Moore didn’t realize how harmful this tick could be until she witnessed her mother-in-law picking at her skin. As a result, she developed awful sores and scabs on her face. Thankfully, when Moore was researching Alzheimer’s on the internet, she stumbled across examples of twiddlemuffs.
Since Moore is an avid knitter herself, she decided to join people all over the world who knit adorned hand warmers for patients in need like her mother-in-law. According to her, they only take a couple of days to make and aren’t complicated at all.
“Twiddlemuffs are made a bit like making a scarf. The first half of the muff is made by using textured wools of every kind for about 11 inches. You sew the ends together so that you have a long tube.”
Then, you add anything of a tactile nature that can be twiddled with, and voila! You’ve got a twiddlemuff.
There are knitters like Moore all over the world who regularly knit and donate thousands of twiddlemuffs, which get rave reviews from patients, their families, and health professionals.
If you’re interested in making a pair for a loved one, or several for donation, you can download a full set of instructions here.
And if you’re not a knitter, you probably know someone who is, so feel free to share this idea and help spread the love that way!