Thursday, August 4, 2011

A Pair of Needles at Rest...

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(Image borrowed and linked from La Crosse Public Library Flickr Account, taken by my sister, click through to see lots of other pictures of Joyce from that day)

I heard via Facebook that Joyce Williams passed away today. It was news that brought a huge wave of sadness.

Right after I moved to La Crosse, I was tasked with hosting the Knitting in Public Day. They'd done one, a Knitting for Peace Day, to such success that they wanted to repeat it. While enthusiastic, I didn't know very many Wisconsin knitters yet. (That would change!) Local Knitting Maven Betty Kendrick suggested that we call her friend Joyce and ask if she'd be willing to speak.

Joyce's acceptance was prompt and gracious. And she asked for as many mannequins as I could round up.

When Joyce arrived she brought a huge trunk show of knitting: sweaters from her books and recent projects she had made. She gave me prizes from her own stash to add to our door prizes for the day. She hauled in copies of her books, which Betty would sell for her throughout the day. In retrospect, I wish I'd had the funds to get them and have her sign them.  

Her evening presentation, given only partially from behind the lectern that was nearly taller than she was, explored her adventures in knitting. She chatted about her love of wool as a tool, preferring it over all other kinds of fiber for it's reliability and flexibility. She painted beautiful pictures with her stories of sitting by a fireplace during a harsh Wisconsin winter, turning laceweight into beautifully stranded sweaters. She evoked gasps when she casually flipped open the tea length jacket she was wearing to reveal how the yarn was carried across the inside of the entire jacket.

After the presentation Betty and Co took her to dinner. I went home and had a little lie down.  My blog post from that day is over at Hedgehog Librarian--it predating this blog.

Joyce was welcoming and inspiring. I will miss knowing that she's up in Wisconsin working on a new project. I hope she's found a new cozy place to sit and knit on...


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