I thought I'd fill in some of the gaps in my explanation of turning the raw fleece into knittable wool. I showed you the washed fleece and said I took out a lock at a time and flick carded it. Here's a little lock that's been detangled in this way:
I could have spun this directly, but the locks are so small that I thought I'd be forever joining new ones in. Also, some locks are longer than others and some are slightly coarser, so it seems sensible to blend them altogether on the drum carder:
Once I've got enough fibre on the carder (it starts getting messy if you put too much on), it has to be doffed:
It's a bit like peeling hair off your hairbrush - but much nicer! There's a tool to help you but basically if you go carefully you can do it easily with your hands.
This is now a batt:
Before I learnt about using the flick carder I was getting much more textured fibre (in other words, it had lumps and knots still in it) and when I spun and knitted a sample I was pleasantly surprised at how nice it was. Quite a tweedy effect:
For now I'm going with the smoother preparation, but there's obviously lots of scope for experimentation.