I've now finished washing all my Gottland, which means that I'm now in the "prepping for spinning" phase of turning it into yarn. I'm planning to turn the lot into combed top and could at this point just lash the lot onto the combs and have at. However, I've been doing a lot of reading, and am firmly in the "flick, then comb" school of thought.
See, the tips of this fleece are pretty well stuck together. And however thorough my skirting job was, there will still be second cuts and bits of plant stuck in the locks. It's all going to have to come out before or during the combing process, because I don't want to be spinning all that rubbish. So, out comes my trusty Ashford flicker and my fleece apron*. It seems to produce much better top than just combing, and as the Tsarina said, "good fleece deserves the extra attention, and mediocre fleece needs it." Plus I enjoy flicking. It's soothing.
(Flicked lock above, unflicked washed lock below.)
Current plan is to flick the lot, then comb it all. The Tour de Fleece is in July, and I'm aiming to spin all of the Gottland up into a lightweight 2-ply for weaving. Gottland is a breed that was around back during the periods of history covered by the SCA, so if I like spinning it as much as I think I am, I plan to acquire a whole fleece next year and make a full Viking gown. For now, I just want to get a nice wrap out of it. Isn't the colour gorgeous?
*This is just a regular beige cotton lap-apron that I've turned into a spinning apron, since I don't like being covered in bits of fluff. Also protects my clothes and legs from the flicker and combs.