The contenders
A 3-day weekend in pictures (mostly)

There are people you meet

There are people you meet in life that you never really get to know, even though you'd like to, but the stars never seem to align, and when they're gone there's a great big gaping hole that you know is just never going to be filled.

Joyce Williams was one of those people in my life. I met her six years ago when I took a class -- three classes, actually -- that she taught with Lizbeth Upitis at a Yarns By Design Midwest Masters Seminar in Neenah. I would have taken all four of their classes, but I don't know... it made me feel less of a stalker to throw in a class with Lily Chin.

I don't know why -- perhaps we knit together in an earlier life -- but there was an instant recognition and familiarity between Joyce and me, though we'd never met before. The feeling was mutual because, at one point, after catching ourselves numerous times quizzically looking at each other, as if trying to recollect, she knit her way over to me and asked, "Have we met before?" There are common places in our lives, but our timelines were different, and we could discern no people connections nor mutual occasions where we might have met.

Anyway, I ran into Joyce again about five years ago at Yellow Dog Knitting in Eau Claire, when Stephanie stopped there on a book tour. That's the Yellow Dog's and Dixie (right) and me (top) coming together with Joyce in a sort of Knitterly Girl Power ring thing. Huzzah!

The last time I saw Joyce was a very brief encounter when I visited Knitting Camp a couple of years ago. She was a tiny little thing, but fierce -- a force! Unforgettable.

When I read Jessica's post about Knitting Camp being different this year because of health issues among key players, I just knew in my gut that one of them was Joyce. So it wasn't a real big surprise, but I was no less shocked and saddened, to learn today that there will be a fierce new star burning for knitters in heaven tonight.

Rest in peace, Joyce.



Thank you for sharing this.

I am so sad. So so sad. I got to see and hug Joyce last month shortly before her surgery. I'm so sad, I was not done with her yet.


May you find comfort as your fingers turn to knitting and recognize the bond you shared.


Oh. What a beautiful tribute, Vicki.


Her designs were well known to me, but she was not. By sharing your memories of her you made her real and your tribute brought tears to my eyes.

Dixie Grilley


I went to put my ring on this morning as I wear that ring just about everyday and I can't find it. It's always in my tray on my dresser. I got goose bumps. I can't lose Joyce and the ring on the same day. I'll be tearing the house apart.


Joyce was one of those quiet forces of nature. I loved her immediately - we were both from Racine and we shared that. I still say she invented knitting socks on two needles, I don't care what anyone else says. Such a...vacancy...there will be. Your tribute was beautiful, Vicki. Thank you.


Lovely tribute - she was one-of-a-kind. I agree with Gretchen on the 2 circs - *definitely* Joyce's unvention!


I am so sorry for the sudden loss of a good friend. Keeping you and her family in my thoughts.


Sorry, Vicki. Such a lovely remembrance of your friend Joyce.


I'm so sorry for Joyce's friends and family. Thank you for sharing this story, Vicki. I will think of you and Joyce when I put on my knitter's ring today.

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