I have always unplugged my knitting machines and other hobby stuff (sewing machine, embroidery machine, fancy vacuum ironing board, etc.) as soon as I am finished using them.
While browsing the net this morning I came across Diana Sullivan's old posting April 2011 about the danger lightning can do! http://diananatters.blogspot.com/2011_04_01_archive.html
Her friend Barbara had lightning strike her home and it really fried her Passap, so badly that it could not be repaired!!!
I know of the dangers of lightning as a corner of our home was struck close to 20 years ago. It struck our gutter, traveled down the downspout, dug a hole to a tree and zapped the tree. It fried our brand new whole house air conditioner, It killed a tv, which was not turned on. It played havoc with various electronics near that corner of the house.
Because of this minor damage to our house I never leave my electronic "toys" plugged in. Even surge protectors are not strong enough to stop the massive power that lightning has.
I also do not use my electronic toys, including the garter carriage, during a lightning storm. We have lots of lightning storms in NC.
Please protect your toys. They are not easy to replace!!