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:Creativity / Working from home

Where I create: A machine knitting teacher’s cozy studio

Susan Guagliumi knitting machine expert teaching Susan Guagliumi knitting machine expert teaching

The space where a creator works can be one of the most personal spaces they have at their disposal. Whether you create from home or you have a studio somewhere else, where you create has a direct impact on what you create. Our column “Where I create” will take you where Teachable creators do their most important work. We’ll feature a new creator’s space each month to inspire others. 

Susan Guagliumi is a machine knitting expert, she’s been using them and teaching others for decades. She’s also a Teachable creator with a beautiful studio workspace. Take a look at her cozy studio full of all the tools she needs for a productive day of creativity and educating others.

A cozy corner for creating—and machine knitting

Susan works from her in-home studio in a small town outside of New Haven, Connecticut. Her studio features exposed beams, a few knitting machines, a large window offering lots of light, and some momentos dotted around the space.

While giving a virtual tour of her space, she pointed out a photo on a wall behind her.

“That’s a picture that an uncle took of me when I was about five,” she said. “Talk about prophecy. I mean, there I am with a big wooly sheep. He must have known.”

susan guagliumi with sheep as a little girl susan guagliumi with sheep as a little girl

Susan’s been using knitting machines and teaching others how to use them for decades. She’s also been perfecting her craft and earning her expert status over the years. She’s worked for several knitting machine companies and was even the Education Director for Studio by White Knitting Machines.

susan guagliumi using knitting machine susan guagliumi using knitting machine

Her experience filming educational video content for knitting machine manufacturers helped her hone the art of teaching. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, she was teaching students in person at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City. She’s also written several books on machine knitting which helped her jumpstart her content for her online courses.

A new era of teaching and learning

When in-person learning was suspended, online courses with Teachable gave her the opportunity to continue teaching. With Teachable, she’s able to share her passion for machine knitting with others through six courses that make up her school. And she can do it all while working from home. “The flexibility that you get from working at home is just—you can’t compare it to anything else,” she said.

While she loves that she no longer has to set her alarm for 4:30 a.m. to get on a train to Manhattan, she loves the flexibility of working from home when the creative inspiration hits even more. “The thing that I really love is that I can work when I feel like working. So if it means that I’m still writing at 11 o’clock at night, then so be it,” she said.

Creative challenges

Even with her experience creating educational video content, Susan had a bit of a learning curve to tackle when it came to recording content for her first courses. “I’m finding that in order to do what I need to do with the knitting machine, that ideally, a three-camera shoot is what I need,” she said.

 

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She ended up with three separate videos that need to be consolidated and synced, work she was able to contract out. But she did take on learning to edit video herself, and she ended up really enjoying it too. “I do pretty well with it and the editing that gets to be sort of cut and paste,” she said.

“That was fun. And I loved it,” she added. “You could just get lost in that with a glass of wine and a sandwich and spend all day at the computer.” For this work, having two monitors was important for her editing and creating her course.

Necessities for a machine knitting expert

The key items every creator needs in their space will obviously differ depending on the creator, the courses they teach, and whether they need any materials for their craft. For Susan, her necessities include lots of fabric, and of course yarn, in addition to the various machines she uses to knit and create.

“I have two machines on the floor here in the studio. I’ve got a sewing machine and a serger. I’m trying to make friends with a cover stitch machine. We have our days, sometimes it works, sometimes the hiccups are a little unpreventable. And a good iron—an iron is critical for me,” she said. Her electric yarn ball winder is also a tool she uses on a regular basis, though after years of reliable service, it’s on the fritz and might need replacing. 

Other than those machines, her studio features some decor that holds sentimental value and offers inspiration. “There is a collection of Matryoshka dolls that have absolutely nothing whatsoever to do with knitting or sewing or anything else. But they started showing up probably 40 years ago and for birthdays and whatever family has sent them as gifts,” she said. 

She’s also got valentines from over the years on her walls from her husband, an artist himself. “My husband and I have been making valentines for each other for years. And he’s an assemblage artist. So his are all three-dimensional boxes,” she explained. 

Personal and professional in one space

While Susan’s space is clearly full of the items she needs to create and to teach, it’s got the personal touches that reflect who she is beyond her Teachable courses and her knitting career. The room reflects who she is as a creator with the inspiration of her past and present featured. 

For a peek into Susan’s studio, head over to our Instagram post featuring her!

Do you want to share your workspace? Reach out to [email protected]



Author: Nina Godlewski, Nina is a Content Marketing Strategist at Teachable. She has a passion for taking complex topics and making them accessible for any reader. Previously she's written for Lending Tree, Fundera, Newsweek, and Business Insider.

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