Thursday, December 24, 2009

Catclaw's Merlin Opens in NYC Tonight!

Appalachian Voodoo Fibers were used in the creation of the clothing worn by the papier-mache puppets in Catclaw Theatre Company's debut of The Birth of Merlin, which opens tonight in Brooklyn, NYC!

This is Jeffrey Scott Holland's adaptation of a play that was credited to William Shakespeare and William Rowley in a 1662 quarto, though modern scholars pooh-pooh any notion of the Bard's involvement. (Then again, they used to pooh-pooh Pericles but now it's finally become accepted into Shakespearean canon. The Two Noble Kinsmen and King Edward III are relatively recent newcomers to mainstream acceptance, and Sir Thomas More is making great inroads towards it.)

Expect the show to appear in other U.S. cities in 2010.

Sunday, September 20, 2009


Meet Mr. Krampus, our quality control manager.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Hot Dyepot Action!

The old JSH dyepots are a-cookin' again. Here's a step by step pictorial of the process. Above we have an antique enamelware/graniteware oval roaster, filled with alpaca soaking in water.

White vinegar and pink dye are mixed together in a mason jar, then that mixture is poured directly on the alpaca. It's deliberately left haphazard, so that a desired mottled effect will occur on the finished fiber.

Then a vinegar-blue dye mixture is poured on the other half. Again, it's left uneven, knowing that some parts will end up bluer than others. Also, the blue and the pink are not separated, allowing the colors to run together slightly.

The fiber is soaked in water, drained and hung up to dry, awaiting the drum carder. The final colors of this batch were more vivid than it appears here; the colors were washed out somewhat by the camera's flash.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Set of four Mini-Batts

#1: Dark Green/Red/Orange: 1.3 ounces, merino, corriedale, firestar

#2: Purple/Gray: 1.1 ounces, merino, angelina

#3: Yellow/Green: 1.1 ounces, merino, punta, bamboo, angelina

#4: Brown/Tan: 0.7 ounces, llama, alpaca

Four is the happiest number that you'll ever do...

Monday, September 14, 2009

Ketchup & Mustard

Weight: 2.4 ounces

Contents: Merino.

Gobble it up!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009


Weight: 2.9 ounces

Contents: Merino, Alpaca, Corriedale, Firestar, Icicle, Angelina.

A simple, effortless batt that anyone can spin and enjoy

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Return of the Grab Bag!

The Super Explosive Intergalactic Grab Bag, offered on Etsy back in February and on eBay in June, is back!! Just look what a mere Ben Franklin gets you:

  • You get one dozen (TWELVE!) tasty fiber batts, each guaranteed to be 2.0 ounces or more, for a total of over 24 ounces!

  • I'll also fill out the package by throwing in a choice assortment of mini-batts, fiber samples, locks and fun stuff to help dress up your projects. These bonus goodies alone will keep you happy and occupied for some time, and raise the combined value of the entire kit to around TWO HUNDRED dollars!

  • For a limited time only (I could snap back to sanity any day now!), I offer this spectacular cavalcade of delicious fibery goodness with FREE SHIPPING in the United States!

    It is your destiny.
  • Saturday, August 29, 2009


    Weight: 2.7 ounces

    Contents: Merino, Bamboo, Firestar, Icicle, Angelina, Punta, Viscose.

    It's for you.

    Thursday, August 27, 2009


    Weight: 3.3 ounces

    Contents: Alpaca, Merino, Bamboo, Firestar, Icicle, Angelina, Camel Down.

    Come on in, and close the door...

    Wednesday, August 26, 2009


    Weight: 2.8 ounces

    Contents: Merino, Alpaca, Firestar, Icicle, Angelina, Punta.

    It awaits you!

    Monday, August 3, 2009

    The Search for Senso

    Not long ago, Senso crochet thread/yarn was one of the most common staples of any craft store's fiber department. It was available in almost every local source for yarn.

    So when I tried to obtain some yesterday, imagine my surprise when the Senso rack at Michael's was gone.

    I asked the lady working in the yarn department where the Senso went and she had no idea what I was talking about. She asked me to repeat it three times, and made exaggerated expressions of non-recognition. Then I found the manager and, to my amazement, got exactly the same response. "Senso..... Sennnnn-so.... hmmm. No.... I don't know that brand. We've never carried that."

    When I pressed her on the matter, and told her I've been purchasing Senso here for years, she looked irate and said "Sir, I've been in charge of our yarn area for two years now and I have never heard of it."


    Then I went to Ben Franklin's. The same glazed-over expression, the same denial that Senso has ever existed in their store. I began to feel as if I was through the looking glass.

    Then I tried another Michael's, and it was exactly the same there. The more I pressed them about it, the more uneasy they got, looking around nervously, almost as if Big Brother was watching with a gun, expecting full compliance with a new policy in which salespersons are forbidden to even acknowledge the prior existence of this blacklisted verboten yarn.

    I was literally getting an anxiety attack about it, because it was starting to feel like I'd blipped into an alternate reality where Bedford Falls has been replaced by Pottersville and Senso has been replaced by some off-brand.

    Fortunately, my next stop was Hancock Fabrics, which DID have a few balls of Senso left, thank God for my sanity's sake. From the depleted remainders on hand, though, it looked as if there were no plans to restock. As I headed out the door, I asked the cashier when they'd be restocking the Senso yarn. Pause. "Senso??", she said dully, furrowing her brow. I kept walking.

    Then came Hobby Lobby. Once again, I was told with exaggeratedly bad acting (I was getting extremely paranoid by this point) that she'd never heard of Senso and they'd never carried it. Oh yes you have, I kept insisting, I've bought it here before. She glanced around furtively, then lowered her voice somewhat to say "Oh... Senso. We don't carry that anymore". Yeah, Senso, lady, the stuff you just got through telling me you'd never heard of! What the fuck?

    By now I'd given up on driving all over town just to be lied to by zombies, so I switched to the telephone. I called JoAnn Fabrics, which had a kick-ass selection of Senso last time I was there, not long ago. Need I tell you what happened? The same denial of ever having heard of Senso, followed by the same "Viet Cong confession" monotone insistence that if such a yarn did in fact exist, this store does not and never has carried it, Sir.

    Will someone please tell me what the heck is going on here? If Senso is going out of business, fine. If it's lost its distributor, fine. If it's being phased out in these stores to make room on the shelves for some cheaper ugly-ass off-brand, fine. Just freakin' SAY SO. What is going on with this city-wide wave of people acting as if they've never even heard of it?

    Is there some sort of coverup or conspiracy afoot? Or has every yarn/fiber store in town hired the dumbest, most Nutrasweet-poisoned, uninformed morons they could find?

    Sunday, June 14, 2009

    Lot of 12 fiber batts on eBay!

    Another of my Appalachian Voodoo Super Explosive Intergalactic Grab Bags are now available, this time on eBay.... click here to check out the auction!

    (Or, you could be Smart Smurf and go ahead and click "Buy it Now")

    Monday, March 30, 2009


    Weight: 2.4 ounces

    Contents: Alpaca, Merino, Soy Silk, Punta, Viscose, Firestar, Icicle, Angelina, Glitz

    Taste it.

    Sunday, March 29, 2009


    Weight: 2.3 ounces

    Contents: Alpaca, Merino, Tencel, Firestar, Icicle, Angelina, Glitz

    Own it!

    Saturday, March 28, 2009

    Blue & Brown

    A color combination that never goes out of fashion with me. Includes four different shades hues of blue, and three different brown hues (deep chocolate brown, tan, and mustard golden-brown).

    Weight: 2.1 ounces

    Contents: Llama, Camel Down, Alpaca, Merino, Firestar, Icicle, Angelina, Glitz, Lincoln Locks

    It's for sale!

    Friday, March 27, 2009


    Weight: 2.8 ounces

    Contents: Merino, Punta, Corriedale, Firestar, Icicle, Angelina, Glitz

    See it here.

    Thursday, March 26, 2009

    Easter Sunday

    Weight: 2.4 ounces

    Contents: Alpaca, Merino, Bamboo, Soy Silk, Punta, Viscose, Firestar, Icicle

    Hunt for it here.

    Sunday, March 8, 2009

    New and improved JSH products

    New photos from Appalachian Voodoo Fibers HQ! Freshly-dyed goodies dried and hung up, ready to be carded into batts.

    Wednesday, February 25, 2009

    Catclaw Theatre Company's Open House

    Visit our booth at the Catclaw Theatre Company Open House at the Mellwood Arts and Entertainment Center in Louisville this weekend, where you'll get a chance to squeeze our lovely fiber batts in person! Click the link for more details!

    Sunday, February 15, 2009

    Spring Cleaning

    Weight: 2.1 ounces

    Contents: Alpaca, Merino, Soy Silk, Icicle, Firestar, Glitz, Angelina.

    Availability: mais oui

    Saturday, February 14, 2009

    Six Pack

    1. black and pink - 1.2 oz. - merino, icicle

    2. yellowy orange - 1.0 oz. - alpaca, merino, icicle, punta, lincoln locks, angelina

    3. green - 1.0 oz. - merino, icicle, firestar, punta, viscose, angelina

    4. purple/black/lavender - 1.0 oz. - merino, icicle

    5. red/pink/white - 1.2 oz. - merino, icicle, viscose

    6. blue/green/purple - 1.0 oz. - alpaca, merino, icicle, angelina

    Total of 6.4 ounces!

    Keep 'em on hand at home

    Thursday, February 12, 2009

    Blue Smoke

    Weight: 2.0 ounces.

    Contents: Merino, Shredded Sari Silk, Icicle, Glitz

    Inhale it!

    Wednesday, February 11, 2009

    Tropical Smoothie

    I don't know whether to spin it or eat it.

    Weight: 2.5 ounces

    Contents: Merino, Bamboo, Soy Silk, Punta, Viscose, Firestar, Icicle, Angelina, Glitz

    Order up!

    Tuesday, February 10, 2009

    Charlotte and Emily

    Weight: 4.0 ounces (2.0 ounces each)

    Contents: Alpaca, Merino, Icicle, Glitz, Lincoln Locks

    Befriend the twins!

    Monday, February 9, 2009


    See you in another life, brother.


    Sunday, February 8, 2009

    Looking Glass

    Is it named after the Lewis Carroll book, or the DHARMA station on LOST?

    Actually, it's named after the Monkees song, which I listened to incessantly, over and over for hours each day, while writing the script and libretto for Toulouse-inations last Spring.

    Weight: 2.6 ounces.

    Contents: Alpaca, Merino, Shredded Sari Silk, Icicle, Glitz, Lincoln Locks

    Take it home!

    Friday, February 6, 2009

    Ghost Ship

    Weight: 2.1 ounces

    Contents: Alpaca, Merino, Punta, Viscose, Icicle, Angelina, Glitz

    Get it!

    Thursday, February 5, 2009


    Yesterday's stuff hanging up to dry. Some of this ended up in the blue mini-batt in last night's Six pack of mini batts.

    Wednesday, February 4, 2009

    Tonight's Dyepot Menu

    Ultra-pale blue/lavender/white mottled Punta.

    Darker blue Punta and Icicle.

    Lavender Soy Silk.


    Tuesday, February 3, 2009

    Can you smell what JSH is cookin'?

    Dyeing up some new goodies in the Appalachian Voodoo laboratories tonight... Lincoln Locks, Alpaca and Icicle, in midnight blue, magenta, teal and dirty orange.

    Monday, February 2, 2009

    Super Explosive Intergalactic Grab Bag!

    Stop me before I come to my senses! In order to help raise funds for The Catclaw Theatre Company, I'm offering my Etsy friends a fortune in fiber for a fraction of its value, with The Appalachian Voodoo Super Explosive Intergalactic Grab Bag!

    Here's what you get:

    You get one dozen (TWELVE!) tasty fiber batts, each guaranteed to be 2.0 ounces or more, for a total of over 24 ounces!

    In these batts, you'll get a little of everything in my fiber arsenal: Angora, Yak, Merino, Bamboo, Punta, Baby Alpaca, Firestar, Icicle, Angelina, Glitz, Cashmere, Corriedale, Silk, Tussah Silk, Shredded Sari Silk, Silk Noils, Lincoln, Lincoln Locks, Tinsel, Llama, Yarn Bits, Viscose, Tencel, Soy Silk, Camel Down, and more.

    The value of these batts, sold individually, would be between $10 and $14 each, making this clearly a wallet-boggling, economy-defying deal!

    ....but wait, there's MORE!

    I'll ALSO fill out the package by throwing in a choice assortment of mini-batts, fiber samples, locks and fun stuff to help dress up your projects. These bonus goodies alone will keep you happy and occupied for some time, and raise the combined value of the entire kit to around TWO HUNDRED dollars!

    ....but wait, there's STILL MORE!

    What if I told you that for a limited time only (I could snap back to sanity any day now!), I offer this spectacular cavalcade of delicious fibery goodness with FREE SHIPPING in the United States?

    (Photo is to illustrate my style of batts, and does not show the actual batts I will make personally for your order. Batts will be in a wide variety of colors!)

    Convo me if you have any questions......

    Sunday, February 1, 2009

    Frog and Toad

    FROG's weight: 1.4 ounces

    TOAD's weight: 1.4 ounces

    Total weight: 2.8 ounces

    Contents: Merino, Alpaca, Viscose, Punta, Sari Silk, Firestar, Icicle, Angelina, Glitz, Lincoln Locks

    They could be yours.

    Monday, January 26, 2009

    Nikola Tesla

    Someone already bought this even before I could talk about it here. You snooze, you lose!

    Fear not, though, another blue one will be up soon.

    Saturday, January 24, 2009

    The Drum Carder

    Here's a shot of the official JSH Appalachian Voodoo drum carder in all its glory, in the midst of a frenzied battin' session.

    Thursday, January 22, 2009


    Not named after the band Queen (though they're cool too) but just in a general spirit of queenliness.

    It could be yours.

    (I pride myself on having perfect color reproduction in my photos, but there's just something spooky about this deep-purple hand-dyed merino that just defies accurate duplication on camera, for some reason. The actual color is a darker, deeper, velvety royal purple.)

    Wednesday, January 21, 2009

    Valentine Milkshake

    Weight: 2.1 ounces

    Contains: Soy Silk, Bamboo, Merino, Punta, Angelina, Icicle, Glitz

    Available: yes

    Tuesday, January 20, 2009


    I'm lovin' this Soy Silk I got from The Woolery in Frankfort last week... and there's plenty of it in this two-ounce batt made of Punta, Soy Silk, Merino, Silk Noils, Firestar, Icicle, Angelina, and Glitz.

    Monday, January 19, 2009

    Four Aces

    A set of four miniature batts:

    #1 is Bamboo, Icicle and Angelina. 1.0 ounces.

    #2 is Wool, Icicle and Angelina. 1.0 ounces.

    #3 is Angora, Icicle and Angelina. 0.5 ounces.

    #4 is Sari Silk, Icicle and Angelina. 0.8 ounces.

    View 'em here.

    Sunday, January 18, 2009

    Flight of the Bumblebee

    Weight: 2.5 ounces

    Contents: Baby Alpaca, Merino, Bamboo, Icicle, Punta.

    Awesome: Yes

    Purchase: here

    Saturday, January 17, 2009


    Silk noils I dyed a few months ago...

    Friday, January 16, 2009

    The Great Pumpkin

    Went to The Woolery at their new Frankfort location today! Even though they aren't actually open for business yet, they let me come in and buy some goodies, like Soy Silk, Camel Down, Llama.... great stuff.

    I immediately came home and whipped up this batt, which is 2.1 ounces of Merino, Soy Silk, Camel Down, Llama, Yak, Icicle, Angelina, Silk, Silk Noils, and Lincoln.