It's amazing what a little washing does.
I really like to wash and abuse my yarn as a final step to spinning, unless I think the final product might be felted. This usually gives me a little less yardage, but thefinishing gives me added protection against felting in the finished product. I've also discovered that a swatch doesn't really change that much after washing if I've pre-abused the yarn.
The yarn I'm spinning up for Saundra is probably the most dramatic example of this. I'm spinning it up as a bulky 2-ply, and since there was a little lanolin and suint left in the wool prior to carding, it needs a good solid wash and abuse to soften up and not feel sticky.
The skein on the bottom is before. The skein on the top is after. Both were skeined onto my 2-yard skeinwinder. The one on the bottom, unfurled is 1 yard long (folded in half, of course). The one on the top, unfurled is about 6 inches shorter. So that's nearly a foot gone per revolution on the skeinwinder!
Although it may seem like I'm losing a lot, I'm not. Could you imagine knitting a sweater (and let's just say someone decided to knit it without really doing a thorough gauge swatch) then washing it! hoo! that would be a disaster!
Still the yarn is extremely pretty,very soft after washing (although not against-the-skin soft) and very sproingey. This yarn will show stitch definition extremely well. I'm getting about 230 yards (prior to washing) out of 2 batts spun and plied. After washing, I'll guess it's probably just under 200 yards.
In other spinning, I've started spinning up one of the rovings I hand-dyed, then decided I liked too much to not spin myself!
And boy, I need to make a light box!