a broad margin.



” I love a broad margin to my life.” I’ve been reacquainting myself with Thoreau this week, and this particular line from the opening paragraphs of “Sounds” in Walden (Beacon Press, 2004) was rattling around in my head as Boh and I took a nice long walk through the local preserve that surrounds the reservoir for New Home’s drinking water.




This place is, quite literally, in the margin of the physical space I occupy here: a bit further afield from our daily walks, and in the opposite direction from campus, but part of my world all the same. For me, a broad margin suggests a willingness to review, reflect, comment, engage; in my reading and writing, the margin is the place for conversation, questioning, response. This place, not far from my door and yet far enough, seems to provide me with critical distance from (and at the same time, intimate connection to) myself.



It might not look like fall out my bedroom window, but in these woods, autumn is everywhere. The rustling of the wind in the trees, the scent of leaves drying, the gentle crunch under my sandals: this is my favorite season.



Our walk turned out to be more important than I realized when Boh and I set out on Friday morning. You see, after we returned, I set about my day, which included a bit of grocery shopping. I park my car on the street in my quiet neighborhood, and really relish the fact that I use it only a few times a week. It seems that sometime in the last 36 hours, someone crashed into my driver-side mirror, smashed the glass, and drove away. No note, no nothing. The damage is slight, and certainly repairable — really, I think it just the mirror that needs replacing, and I have complete coverage on my car, so it isn’t really about the cost. I’m just so disappointed that someone decided that it was okay to not take responsibility for their actions. I think our morning walk made it easier for me to take a few deep breaths and continue on with my errands.


And so, in an effort to feel better about the universe, I decided to finally tackle the big bag o’ beets in my fridge. (How’s that for a transition?) I found a recipe in The Joy of Pickling that was intriguing: cider vinegar, cloves, all-spice, cinnamon sticks, etc. I slurped up a spoonful of the brine before I poured it over the pints of beets, and it was tasty. I’ll let you know in about three weeks, once these beet slices are appropriately pickled!


I realize this post is becoming a bit epic, but I figured you might want to see what I’m knitting. I started a pair of toast/toasty in my Hello Yarn handspun in the Five Plum Pie colorway. I’m using 6s, and I’m hoping the fabric will be dense enough to keep my hands warm as morning and evening temperatures continue to drop.


Also, I’m swatching for a super-exciting KAL that has been in the works for awhile now: Mick of Much-Adored, Laura of Happy Trails and I are going to knit the garter yoke cardigan. We’re beginning on the first day of fall, so I’m plotting and swatching so that I am ready to go. I’m thinking of using my Hello Yarn handspun romney in the Alpine colorway (browns, blues and greys) with some soft brown Cascade 220 heathers. I got stitch gauge (row gauge slightly off) with 7s in the Cascade 220, and now I’m thinking about the handspun. I’m thinking that I might knit the yoke with 6s and just keep trying it on to make sure the sizing is okay, because my handspun is occasionally uneven (read: thinner), and I’d like a dense, neat-looking garter stitch. That seems reasonable, right?

Thanks for indulging my Thoreauvian ramblings on this fine Saturday morning. Time for another cup of coffee and a bit more quality time with Mr. Henry David himself.


4 thoughts on “a broad margin.

  1. Looks like you had a fantastic Friday (except for the unfortunate mirror incident – how disappointing). I love walking in the woods and on trails, but it’s the prettiest in the fall. I agree with you – fall is my favourite time of year.

    A whole sweater from homespun would be nirvana! Toast in handspun, now that I’m going to get to work on.

    Have a fabulous weekend!

  2. You’re so lucky to have such a wonderful place for your walks close by. So sorry about your car. People can be jerks. I’m looking forward to seeing your cardigan! I had planned to make that one in handspun as well; I’m still undecided. It’s a great pattern.

  3. What a good way to relax into the weekend — and I’m glad Mr./s. Mirror-smashing Jerk-(wo)man didn’t present more than an annoyance. It’s so nice to see how the handspun looks knit up!

  4. What a great, epic Saturday! Way to get the most out of the day…. :-) I am so impressed that you pickled beets!! I love beets!
    Hope Sunday is just as good!

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