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Yer right, Art, I spin good yarns. I even have a yarn yarn. Here goes.

I represented a guy who had a problem. He was from Hungary. Wound up having to bring his whole family over. My job was to help accomplish this.

One of the mad Hungarians was a guy who engaged in private enterprise, which in Hungary at the time had to be conducted under the table. Private enterprise was forbidden except to high Party members. This guy would buy his machines in W. Germany and install them all around Buda and Pest. He had half the housewives working for him. Knitting. Sox, sweaters, mittens, vests, hats, the works.

So he comes over here, because he's been burned, and he tries to do the same thing here. Only here, housewives aren't interested in doing other peoples knitting. So he winds up with a load of machines. Toshiba 901s and 501s with the embroidery attachment. Which he gives one of to me in lieu of a fee. Along with a carton of yarn, which may have been worth more than the machine(s). He gives me a lesson and I store it/them in the garage, never to be seen again. These are very cleverly designed machines. Hundreds of needles. Bobbins. All kinds of attachments, and tools. Which to a tool freak like me, who believes that if you have the tools you can do professional quality work, acts like a drug. One day, a very rainy one, as I recall, years later, I break out the goods. I'm gonna figure out how knitting works. This thing comes complete with a plastic program, something like a piano roll, that weaves in designs, like snowflakes, skiers, and the like, in a different color. I spend all day fooling around with the thing, just like I do when I get a new computer, or modem, or program, and I figure out how to get the thing to work.

But, do I want to become a knitter? No way! I just want to know how the Rube Goldberg like thing works. So I figure it out as much as I'm going to, and then the puzzle is solved. I'm on to other things and the contraption sits in my bedroom for the next six months, my wife wondering when I'm going to stop walking past it.

Eventually I agree I've got to get rid of it, it's taking up too much room. San Francisco has/had a knitting shop. I go in and see some great sweaters. But I want to get rid of the machine, the attachments, the tools, the wool, etc.

The kind lady gives me a name. A lady comes over. Just arrived from Italy. Married to an Americano. We make a deal. She gets the hardware, the piano-roll programs for a hundred designs, and the wool. I get a piece of what she gets, anything will be okay, like in a garage sale.

Time goes by. I see her at a crafts fair. She still hasn't sold the machine. Has used the wool. Made me a deal for a nice cashmere vest she made. I wear it. Very stylish. Italian design.

I never want to see that machine again.

I hope the knitting lady visiting SI has good luck. Knit wear can be very stylish.

Thank you, Art, for instinctively knowing when I'm fulla yarn and when I'm not. You did it this time and you done good.


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