Double Twiddle

I made a couple of twiddle mitts this week. It’s been a while since I made any charity knits and the members of my Knit and Natter Group put me to shame with all their lovely work.

Twiddle Mitts are given to Alzheimers patients to distract them from picking at dressings and canulae when in hospital. Also, repeatedly twiddling the buttons and other adornments and stroking the different textures of yarn can have a calming effect. I was inspired to make these when a friend donated a pile of yarn which included some really interesting textures:there were fluffy mohairs, eyelash yarn, metallics, ribbon yarns and all sorts.. They are dead easy to make, so I thought I’d include a bit of a tutorial on here.

Using two strands of double knitting (or the equivalent) and 6.5mm needles, cast on 40 stitches and continue in stocking stitch (it’s easier to sew the embellishments on later if you use straight needles, but you could use circular). Change the yarn every so often to incorporate different textures. You could also vary the stitch to change the texture by using eg moss stitch, blackberry stitch or cable. When the work measures 23 inches, cast off. You end up with a long rectangle like this.

I use the duller colours for the first half which will form the inside of the mitt and save the colourful stuff for the outside.

Next, you add the embellishments…..beads, buttons and so on. I also added some tiny jingle bells and a crocheted flower.

It’s important to add embellishments to what will be the inside of the mitt too.

The most important thing here is to sew the items on very securely.

When everything is in place, sew the side edges together to form a tube (if you used circular needles you’ll already have one!)

Then, fold half to the inside and sew the cast on and cast off edges together.

I finished off by adding a little crocheted edging.

All done!

How do you use up your oddments of yarn?

A Coastal Castle (and a Finished Project)

Dunstanburgh Castle

Today we headed up the coast to Craster and beyond, towards Dunstanburgh Castle. Northumberland has many castles, but this is one, which dates from the 14th Century, is one of the most atmospheric, situated on a rocky promontory overlooking the sea, between the villages of Craster and Embleton.

It’s about 1.5 miles from the nearest car park to the castle and I haven’t been since I was a child. (I took these photos at Embleton Steads) It is in an amazing location – the cliffs on the north side of the promontory are home to nesting seabirds, including fulmar and kittiwake. There were cliff nesting house martins too at one time but I’m not sure if they are still there.

I also completed the Twiddle Mitt last night. These are given to Alzheimers patients to distract them from picking at dressings and canulae when in hospital. Also, repeatedly twiddling the buttons and other adornments and stroking the different textures of yarn can have a calming effect.

My Twiddle Mitt

A friend who has arthritic hands and can no longer knit donated a huge bag of wool, needles etc to the knit and natter group. This included some yarns that were perfect for this – mohair, boucle, some glittery ones. I used this pattern and added some beads, including some little jingle bells, buttons and threaded a ribbon through. I also added some to the inside. The knit version is easy – a stocking stitch rectangle sewn into a tube, doubled up and sewn together at the ends. It’s great for using up those odd little bits of yarn and the more you mix the yarns the more interesting it is. You can add texture by varying the knitting stitch too – blackberry stitch or moss stitch would work, or some cable. I think I might try the crochet version next time.