I'm glad to see I'm not the only one trying to move things. hpny is right, though, knitting by thought does bypass the tactile enjoyment. Just because you can doesn't mean you should. I should have said cleaning dishes by thought. Or mowing grass by thought. Doing laundry by thought. Building SQL Server Reporting Services reports by thought. Oh wait, that last is mostly true...

Working on the sample batt opened me up to working on the A Touch of Twist rambouillet/silk (left):

Rambouillet/silk, Grafton Fibers merino

When I finished a bobbin (close enough, I was getting stir crazy), I decided to play with the merino Grafton Fibers batt I bought at Spa Knit and Spin in February. I had been wary of it all this time, not knowing how to spin it. I searched for examples online and found few photos. I think the answer to how is: however you want. Me, I tore strips about 2" wide and spun from one end, moving left to right across the end, pinching and pulling (short draw?). It mostly worked fine, though the ends of the strips and joining new strips got kinda hairy. Once I finish the second half batt I'll be ready to ply.

And by ready to ply, I mean ready to apply my new plying skillz (well, probably still 'skills' at this point).

I was frustrated with my last plying attempt. Carole had directed me to Claudia's post on plying and I found it very helpful.

What I needed, though, was practice. I had 2 skeins of laceweight singles from handpaintedyarn.com that I was not digging.

HPY laceweight yarn

I decided to ply them to make a sturdier yarn that I might like.

(The astute among you will be doing some quick mental calculations. 2 skeins, 850 yards each. That's a lot of yards. That's a lot of yards.)

I ran each skein through the wheel to add twist. I had a lot of fiddliness problems with my wheel, which frustrated me and made me generally unhappy. Also, my drive band broke and I think it was my third attempt at replacing it that worked. I also went a little crazy after a while. Spinning fiber into yarn is one thing. Usually soft fibers, usually relaxing. Methodically passing (not especially soft) yarn onto a bobbin very slowly while my wheel stuck its tongue out at me is quite another. It's a good recipe for mild insanity.

Plying said yarn, though, on same fickle wheel, that's a great recipe for total insanity!

I will say this: It gave me a lot of practice plying. Without the work of making a lot of singles. And I do think I like the plied yarn better:

HPY lace, plied
Skeins were plied from right to left; I think there is some improvement

The skeins need to be washed to relax the singles into their new configuration. I can't bear to (look at them) do it just yet. Soon, we shall know if the mild twitches I've acquired were worth it.