Wednesday, 25 January 2017

Twiddlemuffs for men

 Have you come across twiddlemuffs?  They are made for people with dementia, and they provide both warmth and comfort for their hands, as well as giving them something for their fingers to twiddle with, which can distract and calm them.  These are a couple of muffs that I made last year:

I volunteer with our local branch of the Alzheimer's Society, and sometimes get asked to add the twiddly bits to muffs that other people have knitted.  Thankfully the Scrapstore gives me access to lots of useful bits and pieces that can be adapted into 'twiddles', such as the toggle, buckle and webbing used in the top muff.

One of the Alzheimer's Society's support workers mentioned to me that a lot of the muffs they receive are more suitable for ladies than for men, which got me thinking.  Football scarves!  As my husband is an Everton supporter, I started with blue and white as my colours, and knitted a muff.  Then I added some twiddly bits that I though were appropriate, including a blue squeezy sponge, some chunky buttons and some textured wooden beads (they reminded me of Rawlplugs) on a thong.  There's also a leather button like the ones my dad had on his sheepskin coat, with a piece of flexible plastic tubing to hook round it.

This is how the muff looks once it is sewn up:

It is reversible:

Suitable for an Everton or Arsenal fan!  So the next one underway will be for a Chelsea or Manchester United fan.........

If you want to make a twiddlemuff, the instructions can be found here.  They are welcomed by Knit for Peace, local hospitals and charities for people with dementia.

Saturday, 21 January 2017

One cosy striped blanket

I don't know what the weather has been like where you are, but here in Somerset it has been really cold for the past few days.  As I'm typing this, I am looking over a lawn that is white with frost.  Although it will be beautifully sunny today, the temperature is forecast not to rise over three degrees. I've been quite happy to have this blanket across my lap for the past couple of weeks as it has gradually been getting longer.  It finally grew to be single bed size, and so I finished it off with a simple border of one round of treble crochet and one row of double crochet:

I like its cheery appearance and also how heavy it is, as it has been made with aran equivalent yarn and weighs in at almost 1.2 kilos, so it really has made an impact on my stash.  This is, of course, not a justification to buy more, I have to keep reminding myself.

This is the first time I have made such a large blanket in one piece; normally I make smaller lap blankets or larger blankets from squares which are then sewn together.  I was very pleased with the speed with which it grew; choosing a new colour every other row somehow kept my interest and even the ends to be darned in did't put me off as I disciplined myself to do them every 10 changes or so.

This blanket will be going off to Knit for Nowt, a charity based in Yorkshire and supported by Loving Hands, who have asked for single bed sized blankets for this winter.  

Sunday, 8 January 2017

Can you guess what it is yet?

After the flurry of hat-making at the end of last year (or last week, depending on how you look at it!), I decided to go for a larger project to start this year off.  And this is where I am at present:

Lots of colours

The pictures above show the project spread on my lap as I was working on it, so can you guess 
what it is going to be?  

It's a cozy stripe blanket, using Lucy's Attic 24 pattern, but not her colour scheme.  I was reminded of this blanket by my online friend Linda of Linda's Crafty Corner, who finished one and posted pictures on her blog just before Christmas.  As soon as I saw hers, I knew that was what I wanted to make next.  I'm sorry for copying, Linda, but I prefer to think of it as inspiration!

I chose 11 colours from the cones that were donated by Nicola last summer, and wound off lots of balls.  I'm using the coned yarn doubled, and in some cases tripled, to produce a nice thick fabric.  Here's a view inside my project bag:

The bright yellow is some Hayfield dk which I introduced because I felt it needed another strong colour in the mix.  In the original pattern, the colours are repeated regularly, but I've gone for more of a random approach, and decide what colour to use next once I'm ready to make the change.

So far, I've completed about half of the blanket.  It is 4 feet 6 inches wide, and will be 6 feet long, so that it will cover a single bed.  I'd like to think that I can finish it before the end of the month, to get my stash busting off to a good start for 2017.