Warm hearts knit comfort

Spring was abounding, redbuds bloomed, daffodils nodding their heads in the brisk March wind, as I drove U.S. 119 to Leeds.

My thoughts flew to dandelions in the backyard at home, and arrival of fresh bedding plants at nurseries.

Today, a more important interest captured me. I was going to meet ladies of a knitting club “Knit One, Laugh Two.”

The crisp, white clapboard building of Leeds Presbyterian Church, constructed circa 1821, hosts the group. I chatted with Founder Judy Lee and a member, Liz Cohen of Inverness. Lee explained how she discovered Cohen two years ago.

“I was wearing my knitted cape out to lunch, and met Liz in the parking lot,” Lee said.

Cohen smiled, saying, “Judy walked in front of my car. I exclaimed, ‘Oh, how pretty!’ ”

“We provide knitted items to various causes, but we minister and pray for one another, too. God brought this club together,” said Lee.

More members arrived, and soon the low hum of conversation was replaced by chatter akin to a flock of springtime songbirds, ladies catching up on each other’s lives. Laughter erupted.

Some members wore or carried knitted items, purses, shawls and sweaters, in colors that echoed the church’s lovely stained glass windows.

A sweater worn by Laura Robinson of Dunnavant Place caught my eye. The knitted pattern began an ever-widening rainbow circle.

The aroma of brewed coffee wafted from a sunny kitchen, where water for tea simmered. A plate of cookies waited.

Refreshments were ignored, as members visited and settled into chairs. The reason for retreating indoors on a sunny spring day was clearly their togetherness.

In June 2006, Judy Lee of Leeds placed an ad in a local newspaper offering free knitting lessons. Seven folks responded. Today, “Knit One, Laugh Two” has grown to 16 members from three counties.

In 2009, nearly 500 items were knitted by the group, and donated to charity. Items include helmet liners for soldiers in Iraq, toboggans and scarves for homeless women, prayer shawls for nursing homes, chemo caps for cancer patients, baby booties and caps for Children’s Hospital, Salvation Army Christmas Village items and more.

“Knit One, Laugh Two” meets Mondays, 10-noon, at Leeds Presbyterian Church. Free knitting lessons are still offered.

“We welcome newcomers,” said Lee, adding with a smile, “men knitters, too.” Please contact Judy Lee at 699-2448.

Gladys Hodge Sherrer can be reached by e–mail at gsherrer@hotmail.