Garage Sale


Chris and I are planning a garage sale this weekend, Saturday 9/1 only, 8 AM to 3 or 4 PM or until we got hot and tired and people stop coming by. NOTE: was previously scheduled both days, but now is Saturday ONLY.

Those of you in DFW – if you wanna drop by, please email me at oakenking (at) and I’ll give you directions. We’re in Farmers Branch, near I-35 and Valwood. We’ll have signs up at Avenel Street and the corners of Bee and Albemarle, plus probably one on Josey, Valwood, etc.

ANYONE IN THE SCA, I’m planning on putting a bunch of fabric stuff, feast gear, etc., in the sale. We’ll see how deep I end up digging – there may even be stuff like art supplies or fabric paint.

Getting Geared Up – Fabulous Fiber Fest

I packed an unbelievable amount of stuff into five (!) boxes – one of them the size you could put a microwave in – and shipped them off to California yesterday for the Fabulous Fiber Fest. I’ve never done my silk workshops in a location where I couldn’t drive, with my heavily-laden car, before – it’s been a definite learning experience. Since I’m doing a workshop, I can’t just get by with one reeling setup, I had to have four, etc. Now, I just have to hope that everything arrives in good shape, and all the stuff that the organizers are pulling together at that end (borrowing items like burners and kettles so I wouldn’t have to ship them) all play together nicely! I’m also ordering live silk worms, which should be delivered to the building where the event is being held – again, hopefully the timing is all good and the silkworms arrive promptly, fat and happy. When I saw that Mulberry Farms was in the LA area, I thought maybe I could meet up with some of the folks from there – but, it’s still nearly a two-hour drive from where I’m going to be in Santa Monica.

Now, I just need to finish up warping the student packets (which I’m carrying with me) and get everything packed that I’m going to take on the plane. It seems like it’s tomorrow.

You Can't See the Forest for the… umm…

A couple of snapshots from yesterday’s NanoTech adventure.

The thing is… you really can’t see much. That’s true in person, too. This stuff is SO BLACK, elemental carbon black, absorbs-all-light black, that what you end up seeing looks like a hole in the photo – like someone used a “select” tool and just deleted that part.

Seeing that in person is quite strange.

a couple more shots, one is a woven fabric

Science geek + yarn geek = win!

I had the coolest yarn + science experience yesterday.

Dr. Ray Baughman of the NanoTech Institute saw my silk presentation at the Dallas Asian Festival in June, and invited me to come and deliver a seminar for their students. They asked a lot of very interesting and insightful questions – some of which I knew the answers to. I’ve never been quizzed on the finer points of silk-related physics and chemistry by a room full of PhD’s.

Then, the coolness began. We went down to the wet lab, and they started showing me how they grow carbon nanotube “forests” on silicone plates (in a special oven at 700’C – about 1300’F) and use them to spin yarn. Tough, tiny yarn, made out of what amounts to fantastically organized soot. (see their article in the journal Science) The yarn is amazing stuff. I’m only beginning to get a grip on the things they’re thinking.

And, then, coolest of all – a long meeting with the research leaders, and we’re talking about the possiblities of silk/nanotube yarns and woven fabrics, and I’m going to go to the lab and work with them on some of my days off. I’m going to be a collaborator in their research. Pinch me.

Volunteers in the Garden

You know how it is… when you’ve had a garden for a while, some times you get things coming up that you didn’t plant.

In the side garden this year, we planted green and jalapeno peppers, canteloupes, and green beans. But this afternoon, we discovered some surprising volunteers.

Everything’s coming up kittens!