There's no skill in spinning that's as worthwhile to acquire as hand carding. It makes learning long draw an absolute breeze, and lets you transform a fleece in to something spinnable. I love spinning from true rolags, it's an incredibly pleasing feeling.
If you don't own a pair of hand carders then they're a good thing to put on your Christmas list. I'm a fan of the Ashford mini carders (there's nothing mini about them, they're just much lighter than many other carders). Unless you plan on carding very coarse fleeces then the 108tpi are a lovely pair to use.
Even if you don't spin from fleece they allow you to card your own blends. Much better value than a blending board, and when done correctly it's not particularly hard work. The key is not overloading the carders, I spin the stripey woolen yarns that I have for sale in the shop occasionally using rolags carded from an assortment of commercial merino top, native wool tops, and other luxury fibres.
This post is part of my advent calendar 2016. Every day in December we're saying so long to 2016 by embracing learning, knowledge and creativity. Each day there will be a new post with a new skill or craft. You can read all the past posts here.