see url: http://www.nytimes.com/books/97/05/18/reviews/pynchon-luddite.html
" But it's important to remember that the target even of the original assault of 1779, like many machines of the Industrial Revolution, was not a new piece of technology. The stocking-frame had been around since 1589, when, according to the folklore, it was invented by the Rev. William Lee, out of pure meanness. Seems that Lee was in love with a young woman who was more interested in her knitting than in him. He'd show up at her place. ''Sorry, Rev, got some knitting.'' ''What, again?'' After a while, unable to deal with this kind of rejection, Lee, not, like Ned Lud, in any fit of insane rage, but let's imagine logically and coolly, vowed to invent a machine that would make the hand-knitting of hosiery obsolete. And he did. According to the encyclopedia, the jilted cleric's frame ''was so perfect in its conception that it continued to be the only mechanical means of knitting for hundreds of years.''
I don't remember being taught this in my industrial history lessons at school...:-).