Spinners of Oldenburg, Germany.
Pictures courtesy of Renate Strempel.
The spinning circle’s pennant with
the icon of the Ollnborger Kring.
Renate Strempel and her spinning circle
in Northern Germany have been reading Spin-Off
magazine for about four years
and want to share a bit about their group with the Spin-Off
"More than ninety years
ago the Ollnborger Kring was founded in Oldenburg, a city (population 160,000)
in northwestern Germany, close to the Dutch border. This club's goal was to
preserve this region's unique language as well as northern German traditions.
Today there still are a few so-called
Koppels (these are specialized groups) left: a choir that preserves old local
songs sung in the old language, different dance clubs still teaching and
dancing the ancient dances, and a group who meets on a regular basis to speak
and teach the old language. And for over thirty years now, our spinning circle
is part of the Ollnborger Kring.
"The spinning circle
currently has thirteen members ranging from twenty-seven to seventy-one years
[old], most of them active spinners, weavers, knitters, felters, and
We meet every other week in
the foyer of an old barnlike farmhouse that also houses a restaurant, where we
sit and spin.
"We are often invited to
take part in craft markets, where we usually show our work but also explain the
know-how of spinning or bobbin-lacemaking. Kindergartens and schools ask us to
demonstrate this beautiful craft in their classes.
"The thirteen members of the
spinning circle, twelve female and one male, use a wide variety of spinning
wheels from Ashford, Majacraft, and Louet to Kromski and Henkys (the latter is
from Eastern Germany). Of course, we do not only spin the wheels but also dye
the yarns, knit, felt, and weave. The materials we use come mostly from
northern German shepherds, but we often add wools like alpaca, guanaco or silk
from Australia, New Zealand, and the United States. One of our members, Inga,
is a master of bobbin-lacemaking and does wonderful laces from her handspun
Would you like to share your
guild's story? Email Kate