Today David and I were in a car crash. Don't worry; everyone is fine, including the elderly woman who turned left in front of us while we continued straight through a green light. Our trusty car may be totaled, but healthy people are much more important. Still, it's a shock! Nobody leaves their house expecting to get in an accident.
It occurred to me that, although I wouldn't recommend seeking out automobile wrecks as a method of connecting with people, we did encounter the generous side of humanity more than usual today as a result of dealing with the crash. There was a responsible witness, who was solicitous toward the old lady and made sure she got home okay after exchanging information with us. There was a super-nice neighbor gentleman, who crossed the street to stand and joke with us and make sure we were all right, and who then kindly offered to give us a ride home. A shopkeep from the convenience store on the corner swept up the debris from the intersection, while another employee of one of the corner businesses helped to push the cars into more normal parking spots. And then my mom, in whom generosity hardly surprises me, lent us her car for the weekend while she's out of town, so that we can have that convenience while we sort out the next steps.
It's nice to be reminded that the old cliches about a sharp shock bringing out the best in some people, really do have some truth to them. (There are, of course, other people in whom bad times bring out the worst, but luckily we didn't happen upon any of them after the accident.) I felt impressed and reassured about the ambient kindness in the neighborhood after this afternoon, and about peoples' ability to relate to and connect with one another.
You know another time I had the same feeling? When I had dropped a casual comment on Ravelry one day that I had reduced my work week by a day in hopes of increasing my design load, and Erin over at Eat.Sleep.Knit took it upon herself to email me with a proposal about possible joint design projects. I mean, what could be more validating than making a decision of that kind, and getting a tangible show of interest the very same day? It was pretty great.
As you've probably figured by now, this garment - the Vine Bolero - is the (first) result of that email exchange; it was mailed out to the participants in Erin's Malabrigo Projects Club this week, and will be available to the general population through her website come January. (And for those who care about such things: Erin is a peach, and offers generous terms to her designers. You should feel great about buying patterns from her along with your yarn!)
The Vine Bolero is a quick little project, designed in the Cape Cod Grey colorway of Malabrigo's Silky Merino. This was my first time working with this yarn, and although single-ply yarns with silk content pose certain sweater-design challenges, I dearly loved working with it and I'm quite pleased with the final result. The lace motif is simple and sweet, and I like the way it's mirrored across the back and extended down into the sleeves. As with most top-down raglans, it would be amazingly easy to modify for a longer body or sleeves, and you can add however many buttons you darn well please (mine are vintage lucite, purchased in an Etsy splurge).
Apparently, reaching out to people really does make a difference. It feels weird to write a blog entry with such an obvious moral! "And the funny little dog lived happily ever after."