Well, I shaved her today. I used a #10 blade (1.25 mm / 1/16"), the shortest I can use without risking clipper burn on areas not accustomed to being clipped closely.
I had wanted to wait a few more weeks, but I washed her today and found a lot of mats during blow drying that needed to be removed. Animal welfare is more important than my plans for spinning, so a shavedown today. Brushing time seem to increase exponentially with coat length, and I was up to probably needing about an hour a day to keep her brushed out, or a weekly bath and blow dry (2 hrs), and honestly, I didn't keep up with it over Christmas at all.
I have gained new respect for sheap shearers, who make it look so fast! I did my best to shave the easy areas (back, sides, top of legs), getting about one grocery bag full of hair. There were some second cuts and areas I didn't quite get down to the skin, I was trying for long strokes rather than my normal "make it look good" method.
Here's her, after I had taken all the "easy areas". She looked so patchy! The remaining hair on her legs, belly, etc, I discarded as those areas are much harder to cut in one stroke.
1) Is there a way to seperate out any shorter off cuts?
2) How should I store the hair until i do something with it? It's in plastic right now with an open top, would a cloth bag be better?
And here's my poor
poodle afterward, cleaned up, in a sweater, and on a concilatory "I'm sorry I groomed you for 4 hours and still plan on doing more grooming in the next few days" walk. The length of the pompoms on her legs is a little less than what I shaved off her body (i scissored them a bit to even them out, so her body hair was a titch longer).