Wednesday

Blocking class this Saturday!

Well there are only 7 Saturdays left until Christmas so we though it would be a great idea to get some gift knitting finishing work completed with enough time to start some new projects for the knit-worthy people on you list this year! 

Blocking class
Saturday November 8, 2014
2:00pm to 3:30pm
$35 per person- includes tax AND a bottle of soak wash!

Please bring with you: A towel and a few knit squares or small projects of various fibers you would like to try blocking with.

You will learn how to properly wash, soak and block your hand knit items and why we should do this before giving them away. You will learn and see what happens to your pieces after you block them and how it changes your knitted fabric. We always say that blocking fixes all problems- it can help tremendously with uneven tension issues, relaxing your stitches, helping to stretch out your pieces and properly shape them or add shaping to them and also how the process of washing your knits gets out any leftover dye, oils and dirt from your yarn and freshens it up before gifting.

We are only offering 10 spaces for this class and they are offered on a first come, first serve basis so if you would like to register for this class, please do so by calling us at the shop at 705-223-8245. To reserve your space you must pay in advance to ensure your spot is held either by credit card or by coming in to the store. Hope to see you all there!

Friday

Cabin Fever Trunk Show THIS Sunday!

Join us at Stix and Stones this Sunday October 19 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm for a trunk show with....




We are very excited to host a trunk show with our friend Deb Gemmell from Cabin Fever this Sunday October 19, 2014 from 2:00pm to 4:00pm and we hope to see you there! This trunk show event will be held at Stix and Stones at 147 Main Street West in Downtown North Bay. Parking is FREE on the streets and in the Oak Street lot behind the store and our back door will be open and accessible!


This event is free and open to everyone and will be a great source of inspiration for your fall and winter knitting projects! This is a different type of trunk show as we will be focusing on books and patterns from Cabin Fever along with samples for inspiration! The amazing thing about Cabin Fever books and patterns is that they always have a fantastic variety of sizes to choose from and their patterns are rated from Easy basic beginner to advanced!


Stix and Stones will be open for regular shopping
 during this time as well so feel free to come down and get a jump start on your Fall and Winter knitting projects and all those Christmas gifts you know you need to get done!


During our Sunday trunk show, if you purchase any book or pattern from Cabin Fever then you will receive 15% off any yarn you purchase that day! We will also do a draw for a FREE Cabin Fever booklet! Enter your name with your purchase!

Thursday

International "I LOVE YARN!" Day!

Did you know that tomorrow is International “I love yarn day!”?

On October 10th we are celebrating I love yarn day because here at Stix and Stones... we LOVE yarn!
We will be open from 10am to 9pm tomorrow with our social knit night happening from 6pm to 9pm which is open for anyone to come down to hang out and knit. We will be having some awesome specials happening all day tomorrow that you don’t want to miss out on- check them out below!

  • ·         All day tomorrow will be double stamp day on your loyalty cards! For every $25 before taxes, receive TWO stamps on your card instead of one! Collect 10 stamps and receive a $10 gift certificate towards your next purchase!

  • ·         All loyalty cards that have been used in full up until this point will be put in a draw at the end of the day for two prizes of two amazing skeins of yarn! Fill your cards up to be entered!

  • ·         Shopping discounts! Spend $30-$40 before taxes and get $5 off your purchase, spend $41-$60 before taxes and get $8 off your purchase, spend $61 and up before taxes and get $10 off your purchase! Plus don’t forget double stamps on your loyalty card!

  • ·         Free gift with purchase if you yell “I LOVE YARN!” because we love that you love yarn!



It will be a fantastic fun day at Stix and Stones tomorrow from 10am to 9pm and we can’t wait to see you here! Bring your knitting for social knit night from 6pm to 9pm and hang out in a relaxed group setting of knitter’s, make some new friends and be inspired by what others are making! It is a ton of fun on top of that as well!

Monday

Shop local and make a change!


 Hello knitters!

I thank each and every one of you in advance for taking the time to read this blog, top to bottom. Shopping and supporting local business is something that is incredibly important to me and all I can do is hope that I can make my customers think twice about where they put their money. I wrote this a few days ago and sincerely hope that you will read it and start your own research about shopping and supporting local businesses and what a difference it can make in our local economy- no matter where you live!
 Well that time has come; Michael’s is finally opening in North Bay. We have had questions for months asking are we worried about Michael’s coming to town and even comments from customers telling us we need to be prepared for Michael’s because we will lose business.

Here’s what I know: When you spend your money at a locally owned business, 70% OR MORE of that money stays within your community which in turn improves your local economy and offers more opportunity for business owners to offer more job positions, reducing travel and commute times out of town, reducing gas emissions and enticing more families to reside in this area. When you shop locally you are allowing businesses to pay their rent to their local landlords who own the buildings, you allow them to feed their families with food purchased at the local farmer’s market, grocery store or at a local restaurant, you allow them to clothe their children and themselves with items purchased at locally owned clothing shops and on top of that, you allow them to live their dreams of creating and running a successful business in a small town community where the citizens love to shop and support local as much as possible. Can you see the cycle?


On the flip side, when you decide to spend your money at a chain store or restaurant,29% or less of the money you spend actually stays within the community. Often times these chains are bringing in people from other provinces to do training or to fill positions, therefore not benefitting any local citizens- I do understand that positions are made available to locals as well, but not entirely. The money going in to these businesses and being spent at these businesses, is often going out of province to a head corporation, and even out of the country and barely benefits the local community at all. The owners of these companies have no idea who you are, nor will they ever meet you in person and so many of these large chains are owned by the states- how does that benefit us in Canada?

Local shops within North Bay pride themselves on being able to deliver all of the information about their products because we specifically and carefully choose every single item that comes in to the store. You can pick our brains about anything you have questions on and we also train our staff specifically to know about every product as well.We strive to offer fantastic customer service and although we know we can’t please everyone, we do our very best to make sure each and every customer that walks through our doors, leaves happy and with all their questions answered and feeling confident about their purchases.
Stix and Stones has been a part of the local community for over 5 years. We are now in our sixth year of business and going strong! We have an amazing amount of support from customers locally as well as all over the province and country. We have students that come to our classes every week asking us questions that help to improve their knitting techniques and I love being able to pass along the love of knitting to everyone that comes in to my store. My staff is knowledgeable and trained specifically on the craft of knitting as well as all the yarns and fibres that we carry. We know how to substitute our yarns for different patterns, we know what will work and what won’t for certain patterns and WHY. We won’t sell you wool when the pattern calls for cotton because of the vast differences in their fiber properties. We will tackle every question you throw at us and send it back to you with the most information we can possibly give you on that subject and if we don’t know, then we do the research to find out. We are committed to providing the best customer service that we can and we are committed to our customers. We offer help and support throughout the process of you knitting your project and we are always here to fix and help with any mistakes. We will sit down and decipher a pattern with mistakes for you so you can continue knitting and we have been occasionally known to even untangle mass amounts of yarn that the dog or cat have gotten in to. What chain store have you been to that will ever offer you that type of service?
At Stix and Stones, we focus mainly on natural fibers for a variety of reasons:
  • Natural fibers breathe as opposed to synthetics which keep the heat and sweat in making you clammy- contrary to popular belief, synthetics are NOT better for babies for exactly this reason
  • Natural fibers hold their shape in garments much better than synthetics that are prone to losing their shape after even just one wash.
  • Natural fibers renew much better than synthetic- meaning after you wash them in the proper wool wash, they can look brand new!
  • Natural fibers last much longer than synthetics with the proper care- they are great heirloom pieces to be handed down from person to person
  • Natural fibers are much nicer to work with- they slide easier on your needles, they are much nicer on your hands and we avoid any “squeaky” yarn issues!
These are just a few points as to why we work with more natural fibers versus synthetic. There are many different grades of fibers and you can tell just from something being“itchy” (low quality) versus the same fiber content being "soft" (high quality) and we tend to carry more high quality fibers that do not contain the itch factor. Contrary to popular belief, you cannot be allergic to wool as it is a protein fiber which is the same genetic makeup as human hair and fingernails and the probability of being allergic to wool is the same probability as being allergic to your own hair and fingernails.Generally when you wear a fiber and it “itches” that means you have sensitive skin and should gravitate towards higher grade fibers such as merino wool or superwash options. If you get hives from wearing or working with wool, that would be caused by the lanolin which is oil produced on the sheep’s fur. This allergy effects a very low percentage of people and you will be surprised to find that many cosmetic products contain lanolin which you might be using without even knowing. If you do in fact have a lanolin allergy, we carry options such as alpaca- which is hypo-allergenic- cotton, bamboo and silk that does not contain lanolin. Superwash fibers also do not contain lanolin because they are processed so they do not shrink when you wash them and you will be able to use these fibers with a lanolin allergy even if they are 100% wool.

If you believe that the yarns we carry are the same as what Michael’s or any other chain store carries, you would be wrong. We do not just carry a more expensive version of the same thing, we carry a higher quality natural fiber that may be more expensive per ball but generally gives you more yardage and a better finished project that, with proper care, will last a lifetime. On top of that, we believe in buying our products from Canadian suppliers as much as possible and I am incredibly proud to say that at this point in my business- almost 100% of our products are purchased from Canadian suppliers!
The bottom line: Any chain store cannot and will not offer the experience and customer service of a locally owned business, nor do they have the product knowledge to be able to help you out as much as you need. Shopping and supporting local means your money stays within your community and helps to build your economy. The choice is ultimately yours but when it comes to yarn shopping, if you personally choose to spend your money on yarn at Michael’s instead of at your local yarn store, then Stix and Stones will cease to exist.

We are so confident that our customer base will continue to support us and that you will all continue to shop locally as much and as often as possible. If each person in our population of 54,000 people in North Bay spent $19 more per month per family member then our local gross revenue would increase by over $12,000,000- yes that is twelve million dollars! Think of what we could do with that and how many jobs we could open up with that. That’s less than $5 per week- think about it. Can YOU make that change?


Happy knitting!

Thursday

October Class Schedule 2014

                                                                               
Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday



1
2
Drop in class
5:30pm-7:30pm
$10/person
3
Social knit night
6:00pm -9:00pm
4
Magic Loop Circular Knitting
2:00pm-3:30pm
$20/person
5
6
7
Drop in class
1:30pm-3:30pm &
5:00pm-7:00pm
$10/person
8
9
Drop in class
5:30pm-7:30pm
$10/person
10
Social knit night
6:00pm -9:00pm
11
“I can’t wear that colour!”
2:00pm-5:00pm
$40/person
12
13
14
Drop in class
1:30pm-3:30pm &
5:00pm-7:00pm
$10/person
15

16
Drop in class
5:30pm-7:30pm
$10/person
17
Social knit night
6:00pm -9:00pm
18
Fibre is your friend
2:00pm-5:00pm
$40/person
19
20
21
Drop in class
1:30pm-3:30pm &
5:00pm-7:00pm
$10/person
22
23

No drop in class this night!
24
Social knit night
6:00pm -9:00pm

25
26
27
28
Drop in class
1:30pm-3:30pm &
5:00pm-7:00pm
$10/person
29
30
Drop in class
5:30pm-7:30pm
$10/person
31
Downtown Zombie Crawl!

Social knit night
6:00pm -9:00pm

































Drop in classes are for all ages and skill levels and for anyone interested in learning to knit, learning new techniques or getting help on your projects
Saturday classes are specialty technique classes and require that you have basic knitting skills. Saturday classes MUST be pre-registered in order to attend.
Please call Stix and Stones for more information or to register for a specialty class. 705-223-8245


Class Descriptions

Drop in classes


These classes are available three times a week during the fall and winter seasons and are open to knitters of all ages and skill levels! This is the time to come in and learn to knit, get help on your project or even learn a new technique. We will teach you anything you would like to know! Each student works on their own projects individually and the teachers come around and help with whatever problems arise or with whatever questions you might help. There is always a great amount of one on one time spent with each student as needed.

We do not take reservations for drop in classes- come when you can and don’t worry about being right on time! We accommodate everyone and their own unique schedules.

Magic loop circular knitting- Oct 4

Never use double pointed needles again! Magic loop is a fantastic technique that uses one long circular needle to knit in the round eliminating the use for double points! You can use this technique to replace any project that calls for double pointed needles such as socks, mitts, fingerless gloves, sweater sleeves and even for the tops of hats!

Bring with you: Worsted weight yarn and circular needles to match in 32” or 40” length
Skill level: Enthusiastic beginner! Must know how to knit and purl


“I can’t wear that colour!” (Not just for knitter’s!)- Oct 11

Let colour do the talking as we share all about… colour families, hard to wear colours, universally flattering colours and variegated colours in yarns and fabrics. Learn how to envision colours in a project and recognize colours you love that don’t love you back and how to work with them. Working with fabric samples and colour wheels you’ll make a personalized go to colour list. We’ll swatch with different colours including hand-dyed colours, talk about washing and blocking different colours and discuss the dying process that goes into creating all them. See if the colour you love will work for garments you can actually wear. Maybe the next time you think, “I can’t wear that colour!” you just might be wrong!

Bring with you: Notebook & pen/pencil and an open mind
Skill level: All skill levels welcome

Fibre is Your Friend (Not just for knitter’s!)- Oct 18

There’s so many exciting knitting fibres available today, let’s get familiar with all their properties and figure out what to use and where!  We’ll talk animal versus plant fibres and get familiar with where you can and can’t substitute fibres called for in a pattern and how to do this properly. Learn about super wash wools versus feltable wools and the universal myth of wool allergies. Create fibre swatches using everything from acrylic to bamboo and merino to alpaca, and then discuss their unique properties and how to care for each one. This session will completely change the way you shop, and look at yarns.

Bring with you: An assortment of knitting needles and any yarns from your stash that you would like to test or fibres that you are unsure of their content

Skill level: All skill levels welcome

Saturday

Will YOU be at KW?

Will YOU be at the Kitchener Waterloo Knitter's Fair next Saturday September 13th? We will be! Come and say hi to us at our Stix and Stones booth #88-89 and check out our amazing selection of yarns, accessories, needles, samples, kits and more! You will recognize us by our lime green and purple fascinators!




If you have yet to attend this show, it is worth the drive! This is the largest knitting show in Canada and when I say knitting, I mean KNITTING! Only 25% or less of a booth can be dedicated to crochet, spinning or other products- 75% HAS to be dedicated to knitting, yarns and accessories! With over 50 vendors at the show, you will be overwhelmed and shocked at the selection! You will find one of a kind yarns, small local hand dyers and amazing yarn shops from all over Canada AND the states! Trust me- you won't be sorry!

Below is a link to the list of vendors and directions- just in case you need more convincing to make the drive down! 


Hope to see you there!

Info for attendees! 

KW Vendors 

Directions to the fair! 

Monday

Summer Weekly Specials!


New for the summer months: weekly specials at 20% off! A new special will be showcased every week and the special will run from Monday to Saturday! We have set up the next 12 weeks (June, July, August) and have a special planned for each of those weeks! Stay tuned on here, our Facebook page, Ravelry and our mailing list to see what the special of the week will be!

Malabrigo sock20% off weekly sale for Monday June 9 to Saturday June 14!
Reg price: $26/skein 
Sale price: $20.80/skein!
Another staff favourite yarn is on sale this week for 20% off regular price! Malabrigo sock is a favourite around here for shawls and sweaters and, of course, SOCKS! The yarn is a 100% superwash merino wool fingering weight and has an incredible bounce and spring that defines every stitch incredibly well. It lends itself very well to patterns with a lot of design and cables or just basic knit stitch patterns. With over 400yds per skein, the possibilities for a single skein project are endless. 

The colours are amazing and the sale is on until saturday- which is also world wide knit in public day! Stay tuned for more details on that and check back next Monday for another summer weekly special!
Pattern above, "Semele", is available for purchase from Ravelry.com and used one skein of Malabrigo Sock. A great pattern for this time of year when the evenings are cool enough to have just a little something around your shoulders. 

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