Category Archives: News

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2020 Board Election Results

Congratulations new and returning board members!

Look for updated bios on the Board of Directors page, soon.

President Judy Weller president@cskms.org

Vice President Michelle Siegenthaler vp@cskms.org

Secretary Kim Kieffer secretary@cskms.org

Treasurer Sheryl Campbell treasurer@cskms.org

Member-at-Large, Newsletter Zoe Cohen newsletter@cskms.org

Member-at-Large, Website Rich McGeheran web@cskms.org

Member-at-Large, Membership Erica Rowe membership@cskms.org

Member-at-Large Dorinda Balanecki dorinda@cskms.org

Member-at-Large Kathleen DuCharme kathleen@cskms.org

Member-at-Large Jamie Mayfield jamie@cskms.org

Member-at-Large Candy Terry candy@cskms.org

Past President Ex Officio Kathy Roletter pastpresident@cskms.org

From the Editor

Newsletter: From the Editor’s Desk

Zoe Cohen
Zoe Cohen

Welcome to the inaugural online newsletter!

In brief, this enhanced online publication is essential to continue providing the best, most up-to-date, and accessible content.

Change can be exciting, annoying, and anywhere in between. New things can take time to get used to—even if you like them. And I understand you may be concerned about finding what you’re looking for. Let me share more about what is changing and why, to help with the transition.

First, let me reassure you that you aren’t losing content. Rather, you are gaining features. Moving online provides a more dynamic experience not possible with a PDF, along with other benefits. Much of the regular content you’ve historically found in the PDF newsletter has always been online. And you will continue to access that content from the regular website menus—Board of Director’s minutes, Treasurer’s reports, Board members contact information, etc., from the “CSKMS Info” menu. Eliminating these newsletter redundancies helps us get you more timely and accurate updates.

Let’s talk about the dynamic capabilities. Delivering the newsletter online has many benefits here!

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  • Full search capability and the ability to browse by category. Look for category links at the top of some pages. Keep in mind that this is new, and the results will grow as the site and newsletter mature.
    For example, if you want to read all of the newsletter Certification content, instead of opening numerous PDFs and scrolling to find the articles, you can find and display all of a category’s content at once.
  • Friendlier and more compatible with any device you use. We know you might be accessing on a phone or iPad. Now, you don’t need special software and most content automatically resizes to your screen. So instead of forcing you to adjust to a page size, most content will conform to your screen.
  • Multimedia capabilities built-in. For example, you’ll find embedded video in featured articles (see features in this issue from Karen Ramel and Kathy Roletter).
  • Promoting community interaction and feedback. Commenting is available on many pages (note that this is for topical comments, not tech support).
  • Moving online provides better security and linking up with your membership. It also means that it’s easier and faster to provide you with updates and resources—you won’t necessarily need to wait until the next quarter.

More enhancements are in store, and I will be working on those—including special printing options. But don’t worry, you can still print any part of the newsletter from your browser (find the new Printer icon in the upper right side).

As with anything new, familiarity takes time. Email me at newsletter@cskms.org with your feedback, suggestions, and to submit newsletter content & ideas.

Wishing you a happy Zoomsgiving and productive holiday cranking!
—Zoe

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:

• 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 (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. 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 Kathy and Annie 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!

Become A Member

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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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Become part of a CSM community of users to share knowledge about these fascinating machines, from how best to make your machine knit well, to the history of machines from early days to today, as well as both legacy and new pattern ideas for making the most of your CSM hobby or business.

Read All About CSKMS HERE

Click HERE for a membership application