Meet Renate and her spinning circle in Oldenburg, Germany.

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 community.

"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 bobbin-lacemakers.

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 yarn."


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