As many of you know, I was traveling with my father in the UK for 10 days, and spent a few of those on the Isle of Man.
The island is beautiful, the people are funny and kind, and everything feels like a fairy tale from the rocky coastline to the sheep roaming free across the mountainsides. Standing on top of a windswept hill, you can understand how and why people developed traditions of myth and storytelling. This is very much a land of dragons and fairies.
While I was there I was introduced to the Manx Loaghton sheep. This rare heritage breed dates back to the iron age, and is believed to have been brought to the island by the vikings. In the 1950s there were less than 100 remaining, but thanks to the dedication of a few people, there are now more than 1000 and the breed continues to survive.
Seeing these sheep in person, and feeling the fibers spun from their locks, I'm reminded that as fiber artists and crafters, we are connected to a tradition of handcrafting that dates back thousands of years. The techniques have evolved but that their core they are still the same: shear, card, spin, create. Where once this was a survival skill, keeping our families warm and protected, now it's an act of love. And it's still keeping our families warm and protected.
Happy Father's Day to all the fathers and father figures reading this. And a very happy Father's Day to my own dad, who has made so much possible for me.