Say hello to my fleecy friend. When we last visited her, she was getting a bit smaller, and I showed you some sad-looking little scoured locks. Here are the rest of the steps I do when I go on a spinning jag:
I grab a lock, and snip off the tip with my dressmakers shears. I elected to do this only to preserve the deep black color - the tips are not felted or weak, just sun-bleached. Then I get my dog's trusty $4.97 brush (Paisley doesn't mind loaning it to me for this - she's not a regular fan of the brush), and use it to untangle the lock. I hold the cut end and work on the tip half of the lock first, then swap ends and do the cut end half. Then I swap ends again and brush from as close as possible to the cut end, all the way out to the tips. Any shorter fibers, vegetable matter, and second cuts (of which there are very few) come right out in the process, leaving this:
As each lock is trimmed and brushed, I line them up in rows so the ends and tips are all still in the same direction, in this somewhat larger mesh bag. There are about 30-40 locks in there, if you're wondering. That's all there is to it. I just snag a few locks and spin them up whenever I want. Sometimes I head straight for the wheel at this point, and sometimes I zip the bag shut and call it good. Depends on my whim, energy level, and the proximity of frosty beverages. I've noticed that I approach spinning differently than knitting: Knitting is all business for me, with clearly defined goals, deadlines and project landmarks. Spinning is the opposite - I treat it like vacation, playtime, or dessert. No hurry, enjoy it as long as I can, only in it for the fun of it. Both approaches feel really good to me, so I guess I must need both activities.
Once I do make it over to the wheel (usually after the appropriate beverage interlude - we aren't savages, after all), I make some of this:
Which, if you are closer to it, looks like this:
I haven't decided yet what I want this to be when it grows up. I'm thinking of a 5-ply, just to see if I can do it. Never have made a Guernsey before...
Of course, there is the issue of how much yarn I will actually get (notwithstanding the issue of whether I will live long enough to spin all 5.5 lbs). And the fact that as a rank beginner, I have no reason to think I will automatically get the yarn I think I am spinning for. It's a magical surprise journey!
Not unlike knitting, actually: Raw Materials + Big Fat Idea + Tenacity + Irrational Optimism = Anybody's Guess!