A knitting term that describes the brave process of ripping out a knitted portion or project so that you can start over. So named due to the repetitive nature of pulling out stitches and the knitters’ chant that accompanies the act, “Rip it. Rip it.” Knitters frog sweaters that no longer fit or hats that just didn’t turn out. They often report a sense of
dread, followed by the experience of relishing the ripping, followed by a sense of freedom to start over again.

That’s what we did.

My husband, Greg, and I frogged our suburban Sacramento life and moved to an 11.5 acre fiber farm on Whidbey Island, in the Puget sound off the coast of Washington.

Greg traded his lawn edger for a chainsaw. I exchanged my fancy suede ankle booties for waterproof muck boots. Greg found us a herd of guanaco and set out to learn how to care for and handle them. I bought a spinning wheel and set out to learn how to make yarn from our animals’ exquisite fiber.

Now we live with nature

Now we live with nature. We raise animals for their fiber. We grow and create things.
And I write stories about the discoveries we make along the way. Our life is hand-crafted… From the beginning, with every fiber of our being

If you’ve read this far, I want to tell you some things a little closer to the skin.
In our former life, we couldn’t breath. The Sacramento air was killing Greg. His asthma had gotten so bad that he was short of breath all of the time. My business was thriving but had swallowed me up. I was choking for air, too.

We couldn’t breath

While we knew this at some level, we weren’t entirely aware of how bad it had be-come. In some ways we were like frogs in a pot of water on the stove. We had tolerated and adjusted for decades. We raised three kids. We worked very hard. We made a decent life. And yet we didn’t know what was missing. We didn’t know how hot the water in the pot had become. We didn’t know how little air we had left.
When we found this place, where the air was clean and life was simpler, Greg suggest-ed we name it Aliento Farm.


[ah-lyen-to] Spanish

(n.) Breath, inspiration, courage


The word aliento captures so much about what we needed in our lives.
We needed to pause.
We needed to reconnect with our breath.
We needed to be inspired and share a project that was different from the parenting we’d done together our entire marriage.
We needed to learn something new.
And, in order to do all of it…..
We needed courage.

I had no idea how hard it was going to be to leave my job mid-career and to not know what was next. It took so much courage to move away from our three adult children and hope that our family relationships were strong enough to endure the distance. Once we moved, we traversed loneliness, doubt, disappointment, and even anger. The unknown is a scary thing and it takes big deep breaths to embrace it. And so, Aliento is the perfectly fitting name for our farm. And, A fiber life, is the perfect name for the new project we are doing. We are breathing together. Making beautiful things. Making a beautiful life.

So glad you could join us,

Lisa and Greg

Read stories, get inspired, savor fiber.

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