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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 (, 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:

• Registration for the 2021 spring session of the Beginner Certification opens on January 15, 2021.

• 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 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. 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!

For questions, please contact Annie or Kathy at