Knit Wits: A Group of Seniors Staying as Sharp as their Needle Points and Helping Those in Need

96-year-old Pauline Liebovitz leads the Knit Wits Group at Moldaw Residences
96-year-old Pauline Liebovitz leads the Knit Wits Group at Moldaw Residences

They may call themselves the Knit Wits, but these ladies are quite skilled and knowledgeable when it comes to knitting, needlework and crocheting, and some have dedicated their time and talent to make specific items for those in need. This group of remarkable women in their 70s, 80s and 90s has been getting together every Wednesday afternoon at Moldaw Residences for almost two years to knit and stay socially connected. 96-year-old Pauline Liebovitz, an active member of the Palo Alto community, helps lead the group, and Felecia Levy, 76-year-old Moldaw resident, has been spearheading a couple of specific knitting projects for children in the chemotherapy unit at Children’s Hospital in Oakland and for premature babies at Stanford Hospital.

“We’re not doing a lot, but it makes me feel good to know that I’m playing a role in these kinds of projects that are geared toward helping families,” said Levy. “I’m thrilled to be doing this.” 

Having been born premature and later surviving cancer herself, Levy said both of these particular knitting projects are very close to her heart. The first project came from a request to make hats for those in the chemotherapy unit of Children’s Hospital in Oakland. The second ongoing project involves making hats for premature babies, and Levy admits that fashioning the hats tiny enough in size for them makes the technical aspect of it a bit more challenging. Levy works on these items at the Knit Wits’ weekly meetings but also in her own spare time. She takes bags full of these tiny knitted hats to be sold in the Stanford Hospital gift shop, and any money raised from the sales goes directly to the hospital.

“It’s my dream to one day see a baby around the Stanford campus or in the area wearing one of the cute little hats that I made,” said Levy. “I love that the project serves a dual purpose: the hats are helping families get cute affordable items for their little ones, and the funds raised go the hospital.” 

Levy said she has enjoyed meeting with this group at Moldaw but said the group leader, Pauline Liebovitz, is the real inspiration for them all. She describes Liebovitz as extremely talented in her knitting and loves seeing her stay busy at age 96 through this group.

Liebovitz and her close friend Harriet Fried used to knit together in the Palo Alto community frequently, so when Fried moved into Moldaw Residences, they organized this group to continue that enjoyable hobby and bring others in on it as well. 

“It’s been a great way to build friendships and make connections,” said Liebovitz. “We all just do what we enjoy whether it’s knitting, crocheting or needlework, and it’s always good fellowship because we all get along so well.”

The “core group,” as Liebovitz puts it, consists of about 12 regular members, and others join on occasion as well. In fact, the group has been making more than just scarves, blankets and hats – some tightly knit friendships are being formed at these meetings.

“We love that our residents here at Moldaw take the initiative to form groups like this with community members in order to stay socially connected but also to help with charitable projects as Felecia is doing,” said Miki Raver, lifestyles director at Moldaw Residences. “This has been a great opportunity to bring ladies together through a shared interest.”


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