another way to travel

despite the fact

that there are so many pretty patterns out there vying for attention,

there are still some that grab me and won’t let go of my thoughts.

‘the songlines collection’ by ambah o’brien

is five patterns

that have done exactly that.

i had never heard of ‘songlines’ or ‘dreaming tracks’ before.

curious by nature, my fingers ran (not walked) to google them.

the results are fascinating.

Instead of making maps, the Indigenous peoples of Australia navigated vast distances by singing songlines (also called dreaming tracks) “in the appropriate sequence, often traveling through the vast deserts of Australia’s interior.”

“Since a songline can span the lands of several different language groups,…(describing the location of landmarks, waterholes, and other natural phenomena) different parts of the song are said to be in those different languages. Languages are not a barrier because the melodic contour of the song describes the nature of the land over which the song passes. The rhythm is what is crucial to understanding the song.”

the songlines collectionafter reading that,

i went back to look at ambah’s designs again.

now i see the red sands of the simpson desert, and the grey of worn ancient stones.

look how she’s mixed the colorways to create such depth and texture

like the ‘contours of the land’.

i admit to an overactive imagination, and yet

i can almost see the things that the loops and swirls of these shawls

might represent on a long trek across the desert.

i can almost here the rhythm of the people’s

footfalls as the older ones

teach the younger the dreaming tracks by which they will one day understand

their native land and describe it to their own children…

my favorite here is ‘yindela‘,

because in a way it reminds me of the landscape of my own history.yindela

once i decide on the colors that will mean the most to me,

i’m looking forward to the rhythm

of the knitting.

as i remember the songs of my own childhood,

each stitch will become part of my personal ‘songline’.

how very, very cool is that?

maybe now you want to win a copy of

‘the songlines collection’ for your very own? okay.

leave a comment below saying which of the five you’d most like to knit.

if you want to, tell us why you chose that one, too

(be sure to leave your rav name

or some other way for me to reach you if you win).

leave your comment by midnight this sunday, october 11th.

then, on monday the 12th, i’ll pick a winner

by random number generator.

can’t wait to read

what you’d choose (and why).

 ‘desert’ taken from 14:3 of exodus.

10 thoughts on “another way to travel

  1. All the shawls are wonderful, and I can see the influence of the Indigenous Australians in each. But Talara needs to be mine. I like the rhythm of the arches and the switch to the straight points, and the bit of lace work just seems right. My life has been like that! Arches that go back the way they came, and finally straighter roads. 🙂

  2. This might be the most beautiful review I’ve ever read. Thank you!

    Carinya is calling most strongly to me. I logged into Ravelry one day and there it was, waiting for me at the top of the Patterns page. I’d never heard of Ambah or seen her patterns, but I knew I would knit Carinya (and probably many others!). I’ve already started gathering yarn. I can’t say why, exactly — only that it won me over at first sight.

  3. My fav is Yindela. I love triangular shawls and stripes. The contrasting colours remind me a dress that I had years ago.

    mamayaga on ravelry

  4. Palana is what I am drawn to knit most. The design lines, and the modern and ancient feel at the same time offer a really interesting interpretation and homage to indigenous culture and art in Australia.

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