This year marks the 35th consecutive year that the Wednesday Spinners, a group of women from Down East Maine, have been spinning together at the Common Ground Fair. Now in their 37th year of meeting every Wednesday, September through May, at a different spinner’s home each week, the spinners — ranging in age from 15 to 80 and with more than 700 cumulative years of spinning among them — have planned another lively and informative weekend for fairgoers.
The story of the birth of the Wednesday Spinners is shrouded in the mists of time, but some recall it grew out of an invitation from Mascha Litten (after a 1975 flax workshop with Mary Chase) to “come spin at her house next Wednesday.” Mascha made a vat of soup for 20 — and only Mollie Birdsall showed up. It didn’t take long for the group to grow and soon members were filling living rooms around Hancock and Washington counties with the whir of wheels. The soup pot continues to be a weekly tradition.
The babies that were crawling around under foot in those early years now have families of their own, and as can be expected in a group with such a long history, the have lost lost several of its beloved spinners, including Mollie and Mascha.
Active in MOFGA from its inception, Mollie and her husband Paul went to the first Common Ground Fair in Litchfield in 1977. Mollie came back convinced that Wednesday Spinners should be a part of the fair the following year and they have been there ever since.
For information about the Wednesday Spinners activities at Common Ground Fair, see the Fairbook schedule and visit the Wednesday Spinners page at the fair “areas” section at mofga.org.