Monday, June 27, 2011

Fiber Art Finds From Germany ~ Part IV

The last day of my European travels was spent in Munich. I had already spent a few days in Munich earlier on this vacation. This last day was a day of rest after spending time in Italy and before heading back to the United States.

I had kind of accepted that the closest thing to fiber art I was going to find in Munich was this sheep I bought at the Viktualienmarkt, a farmer's market. He's cute, but he isn't even covered in real wool.

It was Sunday and the square in front of the Glockenspiel at Marienplatz was being set up for a performance. There was a stage, lots of tables and the local brew houses were setting up tents. My family and I were just out for a walk, stretching our legs. The day was overcast and occasionally a rain cloud would treat us to some sprinkles.

I saw a few craft tents set up on a side street. Drawn to crafts of any kind, I headed in their direction. I walked by the first couple tents as they held nothing of interest. I craned my neck to see if it was even worth walking to the end of the street when something caught my eye. I felt certain that I saw something spin. I quickened my pace, my spidey senses tingling. Sure enough, in the very last tent, sat a little band of handspinners. They had baskets of wool and samples of yarn. Some sat at wheels while others used drop spindles. My people!

I took out one of my business cards which have a picture of a spinning wheel and sheep on them. I pointed to my name and in my best German said, "Dies ist mir." Which I'm sure you can guess means "this is me". Their faces lit up and we all smiled at each other. They each held up their projects for me to admire. One gentleman who was working a Turkish drop spindle, pulled out a stick and demonstrated spinning using nothing but a twig. I managed to share how Native American spinners sometimes use a long stick and spin it against their thigh. His response to this was to spin a little length of wool with his bare hands and present it to me as a gift.

Rain started to fall in earnest and I left to rejoin my family. My few minutes with the Handspinngilde of Munich left me feeling warm and fuzzy. It's heartwarming to know that there are others out there preserving and passing on this heritage. Even more, it's wonderful when a mutual love of spinning is enough to transcend language barriers and make you feel as though you are among friends!

1 comment:

Heather Woollove said...

Jenn--Oh, how I love this story...that our fiber arts can transcend even the need for spoken words?!?!?
...and how cool that their group included such minimalists! Spinning with a twig...who knew?!?!
I love it when you travel. I learn so much!!