Chris, that's hysterical! By the time this thing gets polished up any good stand-up comedian could take it to Vegas!
Trvvn5, my engineering friend - Did you laugh? That's really the bottom line. If this thing tickled your funny bone, then my work here is done!!!
And yes, you're absolutely right - the physics involved are pretty shaky, but this was one of those things that just started to roll when I read Chris' comment about the electric drill and the ball winder.
You remind me so much of a very dear friend of mine, who, after looking at a particularly intricate painting of mine ("P'catso's Masterpiece", which I'm attaching in another post) brought up something his "engineering eye" caught that didn't work for him. My question to him was "What about the painting? How did that grab 'ya?" His answer was that he was so enthralled he couldn't stop looking at it!
I'm so glad you started this crazy thread, it's been so much fun and "Lissa" and "Wellslipmystitches", I'll be sure to let you see a draft of the knitting book I'm working on - it definitely has some of the same flavor as my earlier "ball winder" post!
Meanwhile, I'll insert P'catso in another post... and thanks everyone for adding so much additional fun to this!