Category Archives: News

CSKMS Certification Program Update

Our 2020 beginner class (March 15 – September 15) has about a month to go. We currently have 6 participants (out of 15) who have finished their knitted samples and their essay questions, have submitted their work, and have endured having three judges evaluate their submissions.  They all passed!  

Despite a fair amount of nervous anticipation (judging from the posts in the private Facebook group!), they rose to the challenge with skillfully cranked cast-on bonnets, “test-tube” gauge swatches, scarves or cowls, and three pairs of socks (plain hem top,  mock-ribbed and striped).  Cranking wasn’t everything though… they had to explain in detail such topics as the various parts and the mechanical operation of the sock machine, the determination of tension and stitch/row gauge, managing yarn flow, and the origin and technique of Kitchener stitch.

Here are the accomplished and certified crankers from this class so far.

Dorinda Balanecki (Michigan)
Kathleen Ducharme (Michigan)
Kim Kieffer (Indiana)
Annie Rieck (Illinois)
Kerry Sheldon (Connecticut)
Jane Stewart (Ohio) 

Congratulations, ladies!!  You put a lot of study and effort into this work to achieve success, and you’ve proven your high level of competence in basic cranking skills and CSM knowledge.

As I write this, we also have several other participants who have completed their work and are in the process of being judged.  No doubt, we’ll be able to report their success in our next update.

Even though we planned to end this class mid-September, we are prepared to be generous with time extensions given how the Covid-19 pandemic has upended so many lives over the last few months.  So far, only one class member has requested some extra time, and several others think they will be able to finish up within the next few weeks.  

I want to thank our current group of judges who have given careful attention to details, provided thoughtful feedback and comments, and shipped packages promptly.  They have been so reliable and so willing to serve our members in this way!  They are Jenny Deters, Rosalyn Keys, Hope Martin, Jamie Mayfield, Sue Vunesky, and Judy Weller. 

We’re hoping to have the group all done by the end of October, just in time to start another beginner class in early 2021.  If you’re interested in being in that certification group, email Kathy Roletter (pastpresident@cskms.org), and she’ll let you know when applications open.

And yes, we’re working on the next level, intermediate, which will focus on different types of heels and ribbing skills.  More on that to come!

~ Kathy Roletter

Read more about the Certification Program

CSKMS Skills Certification Program, Beginner Level.

We are excited to announce the opening of the first Beginner Level class of the CSKMS Skills Certification Program. The class will be limited to 15 candidates and will be open to any CSKMS members who wish to test their basic cranking skills against an established standard of excellence. Whether you are a newbie cranker looking for a curriculum of progressive skill-building or an accomplished cranker who would enjoy having confirmation of your skills mastery, we welcome you to join us!

Here’s how the program will work:

• Applications for the first class must be received by March 15, 2020.

• Members may apply for the program by completing and returning the application form published in the newsletter. The form will also be available here on the website at that time.

• There will be a $75 fee to cover postal costs and to compensate the judges for their time in assessing each candidate’s submissions.

The actual cost of about $100 will cover $60 to pay judges (3 judging sessions at $20 each) and approximately $40 to cover postage to mail submissions from a judge to judge and back to the candidate. The CSKMS board has agreed to pick up the difference of about $25 for each candidate to keep the fee affordable.

• Once the application form and fee are received, the candidate will be sent detailed instructions for producing six knitted samples and answering eight essay questions.

• Candidates will have up to 6 months (or until September 15, 2020) to submit their knitted samples and written answers. Judging by 3 consecutive judges may take up to 6 weeks after submission. Once all judging is accomplished, the candidate will be sent copies of the judges’ conclusions. All the candidates’ work will be returned to them after the last judging session.

• If all samples and answers are judged to be acceptable or outstanding, candidates will receive a Certificate of Achievement (suitable for framing!) when their work is returned to them.

• If any samples or answers are considered not acceptable, the candidate will be given the opportunity to re-submit only the part of the work that needs re-doing. Specific feedback and suggestions will be provided to help to ensure success on the second try.

• Fees will not be refundable once submissions are sent to the first judge or after September 15, 2020. The 6-month timeline will not be extended except in special circumstances on a case-by-case basis. It is expected that members will join the class only if they have every intention of following through on the program.

Detailed descriptions of the requirements along with example photos can be found here.

Due to the number of judges available, the first class will be strictly limited to 15 candidates. If you’d like to test your beginner cranking skills against the CSKMS standards of excellence, don’t delay . . . sign up soon! All applications and fees must be received no later than March 15, 2020.

For questions, please contact Kathy Roletter at certification@cskms.org.

Remembering Barry Travis

Tuttle LT150
by Candy Terry

Of all the old-time sock makers we have known, the one who contacted us first, some 20 years ago, was Barry Travis. He became our best cranker buddy, providing much needed cranker knowledge, three CSMs, including our first Tuttle, nifty tools, and very affordable sock yarn. Within a year, Barry became the cranker we most recommended to prospective CSM owners. He was a trusted source of machines, manuals, needles, cylinder springs, and the best-priced German sock yarn anywhere. An even more important product Barry provided new crankers was sock wisdom and inspiration. As soon as he had the contact information and address of a new CSM owner, he would crank them out a pair of his famous socks for free hoping the example of his hand-cranked socks would inform and inspire them.

Barry’s most recent contribution to the cranker craft was donating his precious “Old Rusty,” a 1880s Lamb made Tuttle, to the modern Lamb Company for them to disassemble all 102 parts as the first step to what would become the LT150, a modern reengineering of the Lamb Tuttle 150 years later.

No doubt, many of our CSKMS members can say “thanks to Barry!” they have a pair of his socks, a good machine, or ample yarn stash along with Barry’s encouragement to have fun as they progressed along their CSM path. Today, Hank and I join with all CSKM members who fondly remember Barry Travis as that trusted cranker friend who, above all, helped them on their CSM journey.

In memory of Barry

Join the CSM Directory

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This international database is maintained by Juanita Reynard as a free service to the CSM community.  When you join, your name, contact information, and CSMs are included in the list.  The directory is only available to those who are listed on it, and you must agree not to misuse the information or share it with anyone not listed.  This is a great tool for anyone who wishes to locate another cranker or who wants to see all the CSMs out there in the world! 

Click here to sign up.

Many thanks to Juanita for providing this valuable service to us all!

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Join CSKMS now. . . we’d love to have you as a member!

Members receive a quarterly newsletter, may apply for crank-in grants, list themselves in the instructor/mentor database, have exclusive access to CSM YouTube videos, and may request free ads for their CSM-related merchandise in the newsletter and on the website.

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