Knitted snuggle elf blog

Knit a fiddle toy Elf for people living with dementia

Knitted fiddle toys can be helpful for people with dementia with restless hands. Knit our festive elf for a seasonal friend.

Earlier this year we published a snuggle bear pattern written by Fiona Crouch. It was very popular, and we've seen bears popping up all over the country.

If you haven’t heard, Elf Day is our annual celebration of everything festive, designed to get you into the Christmas spirit while raising money to help those affected by dementia. So, to celebrate, Fiona has come up with a special Christmas themed version of the pattern.

This elf would make a perfect companion on the big day, as well as a soothing festive friend for people with dementia - so get your needles out and start knitting!

Knit your own Snuggle Elf for people with dementia

The 'Snuggle Elf' fiddle toy pattern

For fidgeters, twiddlers and anyone who needs a special festive friend. Snuggle Elf can be made in an evening – what better than to give a Christmas gift that is lovingly elf made?

Sits in your hand or for an extra special snuggle, pop him over a finger or two and let him nestle in your hand.


  • 4mm knitting needles
  • Small amount of DK yarn (I used red, white, green and flesh coloured yarn in this design)
  • Flesh coloured yarn for nose and black yarn or small beads for eyes
  • Sewing needle
  • Small amount of toy stuffing

Skills Required

  • Cast on/off
  • Garter stitch
  • Simple button holes
  • Increase
  • Decrease (by knitting 2 stitches together)
Snuggle elf hugging fingers

The Snuggle Elf fits around your fingers

How to knit your own fiddle toy Elf

(Hat, Head and Body)

  • Cast on 3 stitches (in a festive colour – I’ve used green)
  • Knit one row
  • Increase each row by one stitch (I do it in the middle of the row, but it can be at the end) until you have 12 stitches.
  • Knit 2 rows
  • Change to flesh coloured yarn and knit 6 rows
  • Decrease by knitting 2 stitches together (6 stitches). This gives the shape of the neck
  • Knit one row
  • Change to colour for body and increase into each stitch (12 stitches)
  • Knit one row
  • Next row - knit 2 stitches, knit 2 stitches together, bring yarn forward, knit to last 5 stitches, knit 2 stitches together, bring yarn forward and knit to end of row (making simple buttonholes for the arms to fit through)
  • Knit 9 rows – legs next


  • (Working on first 6 stitches only, slip remaining 6 stitches onto a stitch holder) 
  • Knit 8 rows 
  • Next row - increase into every other stitch (9 stitches)
  • Knit 3 rows
  • To finish legs break yarn and sew through loops to make feet
  • Repeat with remaining 6 stitches to make other leg 

Note – my elf has candy cane striped legs, changing colour every 2 rows (legs) and bright red shoes (from the increase row onwards). If it’s easier, keep them all one colour or come up with your own festive design!

An elf in progress


  • Cast on 24 stitches (in the colour to match or complement your body)
  • Knit 6 rows
  • Cast off 

(Hat Band)

  • Loosely cast on 18 stitches
  • Cast off 

To make up

  •  Sew arms along long seam using whip stitch and put to one side
  • Sew legs up to body (as shown in bottom leg in above photo – this one piece makes the hat, head, body and legs)
  • Sew body (seam is at back) up to buttonholes
  • Thread arms through the buttonholes and sew ends together
  • Secure arms in place by stitching an arm onto each buttonhole
  • Lightly stuff body (a plump tummy looks fab!) - leave legs unstuffed
  • Continue sewing up to top of the hat and stuff lightly
  • Sew hat band into place
  • Embroider eyes and nose using black yarn/beads and flesh coloured yarn.

Please note the author can accept no responsibility for any consequences arising from the information advice or instructions given in this pattern

Pattern is ©Fiona Crouch, 2018. All rights reserved – for personal and non-commercial use only.

Visit Fiona's Facebook page to see more of her wonderful knitted designs.

Take part in Elf Day

Whether you’re a knitter or not, you can take part in our Elf Day celebrations on 7 December, and help us raise money to beat dementia. 

Sign up
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Hope to try and knit some but had problems printing the pattern but hope i have got it right

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Would love a crochet pattern please

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Do you have crochet patterns for the fidget toys? Please email ASAP.

Thank y’all!

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Is there a crochet versio of the bear and elf would love to make them for people in South Africa

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Loved making the Twiddle Muffs over the past few months, will now make this enchanting Elf. Missed the earlier bear pattern, so could you please send me a copy.
Three local centres looking after dementia patients love the Muffs so we are sure they will love the Elves, and even the Bears. Thank you

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Hello, we're so glad to hear you have enjoyed making Twiddle Muffs. You can find the bear pattern at this link:… - or linked in the article above. Best wishes, the Alzheimer's Society blog team.

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