Once you have washed your fleece to remove the lanolin and dirt, you can prepare if for carding and then card it.
To prepare the fleece for carding, break it up into small handfuls -- grab a clump and tug it apart into handfulls. This is a great way to find and remove any larger pieces of VM (vegetable matter -- hay, seed pods, weeds), and if you shake it over the floor, more dusty-sized pieces are likely to fall out (ask me how I know this, lol the floor needed sweeping anyway).
If you have hand cards, you can then load up your handcards and card. (N.B. dog slickers from the $1 store are an inexpensive way to find out you'd be better off saving up pennies for a drum carder...)
There's a great mpeg of hand carding here.
As well as a great historical YouTube video:
If the video doesn't show up, search on youtube.com for "Mrs Helen Maddrell".
posted 2 March 2007 at http://askthebellwether.blogspot.com/ (links updated 23Mar09)