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Twiddle mitt knitting pattern

15 January 2016

We are working with Bournemouth University (BU) third year students to make ‘twiddle mitts’ for patients living with dementia at The Royal Bournemouth and Christchurch Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust (RBCH).

‘Twiddle mitts’ are knitted mittens or hand warmers with beads, buttons and objects sewn on to them. The mitts are becoming popular gifts for those living with dementia, as having something to ‘twiddle’ helps to calm agitation and restlessness – both common symptoms of the condition.

The BU team, which includes adult nurses, midwives, a mental health nurse and an occupational therapist, are working on the ‘twiddle mitts’ as part of a study project challenging students to make an improvement to a local health service.

To avoid any risk of infection, each patient receives their own twiddle mitt and can take it home with them after they leave hospital. This means the twiddle mitts are in constant demand, so both BU and RBCH are encouraging natty knitters to pick up their needles to support the cause.

If you would like to knit some ‘twiddle mitts’ for our patients, please see the instructions below.

Finished twiddle mitts can be dropped off at BU’s Lansdowne Campus, placed in a designated box in Royal Bournemouth Hospital’s Atrium or posted through the letter box of Bournemouth Hospital’s Charity office.

Twiddle mitt pattern:

Thank you for helping us to make stays in our hospitals more comfortable for our patients living with dementia. Please find a pattern for twiddle mitts below… happy knitting!

1. Materials

This mitt pattern is perfect for using up left over and odd balls of wool

• Needles: 8 mm circular or 6.5 mm straight needles

2. Directions

• Cuff: 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

• Mitt body: Continue with stocking stitch, but use up oddments of various textures of wool such as chunky, mohair, ribbon etc. until the work measures 23 inches (two strands of double knit for two rows each gives a lovely assortment of colours)

3. Finishing

• 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 mitt body

• Sew the two ends together, again using a neat edge to edge stitch

4. Decoration

• Now is the time to decorate the mitt, inside and out, with ribbons, beads, flowers, zips, loops, pompoms, buttons etc.

• You could even knit a separate pocket for a favourite photo or a hanky

• Be creative, but make sure each item is securely attached

• If there could please be a loop on the mitt at the top so a patient identification band could be attached to it, it would be greatly appreciated

Thank you for your help, it is very much appreciated!

Twiddle mitts pattern

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