Rowe woman is a Knifty Knitter for Warm the Children

  • Carol Lively of Rowe knits hats for the Warm the Children clothing drive. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

  • Carol Lively of Rowe knits hats for the Warm the Children clothing drive. Staff Photo/PAUL FRANZ

Staff Writer
Published: 10/25/2019 11:25:50 PM
Modified: 10/25/2019 11:25:39 PM

ROWE — Carol Lively is a familiar Roundhouse entrant at the annual Franklin County Fair. Visitors admire her handiwork in the Homemaker of the Year category, and her creativity is evident in a big farm display that she puts up.

So when Lively saw a new category in the exhibitors’ premium book for Warm the Children, it piqued her interest.

“I noticed that, after the fair, they donate the hats that were entered and give them to Warm the Children,” Lively said. “I saw that and said to myself, ‘Well, that’s darn nice!’

“I’ve never needed Warm the Children, thankfully, but I know people who have utilized it and got their kids some nice, warm winter clothes,” she added.

Warm, knitted hats are something of a specialty of Lively’s, ever since an accident laid her up.

“We used to go to church in Readsboro, Vt., and I was in an accident and I couldn’t do anything, so I was just sitting around. My hats are very simple; they’re made on one of those plastic looms — it’s like a Knifty Knitter — so you can make different sizes. We had a church bazaar, so my daughter and I ended up knitting 75 hats for our church.”

Lively donates fleece hats, too, having sewed many for Good Neighbors in Charlemont with her mother, Anne Besgen.

“It’s just something we do,” Lively said simply.

Whenever she has extra time, Lively keeps her hands occupied.

“My daughter, Christina, goes to Mount Holyoke; she’s working really hard down there and she plays field hockey. So when we go to the games, if my husband’s driving, I can knit a hat during the drive down. This Knifty Knitter’s just so quick.”

Knitting also allows Lively to exercise her creativity.

“I try to make different, fun combinations, like with fun colors, stripes, pom-poms or tassels. It’s fun to think, ‘What would a kid want?’ So I try to do that as much as I can if I’m sitting around. I have a bag and I just bring it with me, even on planes.”

Still, Lively doesn’t expect recognition for her contributions to Warm the Children.

“It’s just sort of an under-the-radar thing that I do. I’m just glad to do a little bit,” she said. “My hats aren’t fancy. I’m not a fancy knitter, by any means. But they keep kids’ ears warm in the winter.”

Warm the Children was started by the Greenfield Recorder in 1993. The event helps families in need avoid spending money every year on things children need, such as warm clothes. The Recorder coordinates the fundraising drive which, along with the work of volunteers, fuels the charity.

Wilson’s Department Store arranges purchases of winter clothes for children up to age 12. Community Action Pioneer Valley works with several local service agencies to screen eligible families and set up shopping appointments during the three days when the “shop” is open at the fairgrounds.

To donate to next year’s fundraising goal of $90,000, send a check to: Warm the Children, c/o The Recorder, P.O. Box 1367, Greenfield, MA 01302. Also, new clothing may be dropped off at the Greenfield Recorder, 14 Hope St., between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Reach Chris Harris at
413-772-0261, ext. 265 or


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