Discouraged and believing that my mind was failing, I started looking into mule spinning--to see if indeed there is such a technique. And, guess what, there is! Mule spinning was developed by Samuel Crompton and combines the best of two types of spinning--the spinnnig jenny and Arkwright's water spinner. We won't go into the technical details since they are a bit much for this blog, but I will say a little about mule spinning.
The original mule spinning machine used mules to pull the sliver and twist it (the draw), the yarn was wound onto spindles as the mules went back to the machine. There was an entire cast of employees that focused on driving and caring for the mules--again not something we are following at the present. Today the mule is gone from mule spinning--it is a totally mechanized process that can allow thousands of spindles to be spun at the same time.
Back to Noro--yes, Noro yarn is spun on a specially modified short bed mule spinner (the mule, but the machine not the animal) to reduce the twist in the single strand yarns. According to my source, the article Behind the Scenes by Cornelia Tuttle Hamilton in the Fall 2012 edition of Noro magazine the Noro mule is a beautiful wooden "antique".
Yea! I remembered the source, finally!
I tried to find a picture of a mule (animal) drawing the sliver so we could all get a concept of what it looked like, but couldn't find one. There are a lot of pictures of industrialized mule spinning and you can find those on the internet if you look under mule spinning.