L-R Mamie Cashen, Mary Kate (Mrs. Walter) Grant, Mrs. A. G. Stronach, Annabell (Mrs. Angus) MacNeil, JunieCashen, Mary Jane (Mrs. Dan) MacLellan. Courtesy of Antigonish Heritage Museum. Restoration: Jeff Parker.
Stanley-Blackwell and MacLean (2004) capture the essence of the spinning frolic as a force for community health, and the overlaps among the social determinants of health:
The frolic represented a distinctive attitude to work, for it turned a utilitarian task into an occasion for social interaction. … In many Scottish communities, work, community and kinship converged as women shared the burdens of making blankets and winter clothing. … The spinning frolic was usually held during the summer, between sowing and harvest time. The women would arrive at a neighbourhood home in the morning carrying their spinning wheels under their arms. As the wheels hummed, the women punctuated their work with lively conversation, song, and frequent cups of tea. By early evening, most of the rolls of wool were transformed into skeins of thread. (p. 120)