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Bartlettyarns of Rochester NH celebrates Knit in Public Day

Aug 14, 2023

ROCHESTER — Susan Rice, owner of Bartlettyarns in Rochester, is getting ready to recognize World Wide Knit in Public Day, on Saturday, June 10.

Rice's new retail location at 30 North Main St. is a continuation of a lifelong love of all things yarn.

"I met my husband Lindsey when I was 14," Rice said. "We were both in 4H. He raised sheep, and was also a shearer."

It was a match for life. Rice has a 25-year involvement in wool and yarn, and is now an owner at Bartlettyarns, Inc. in Harmony, Maine. The new store in Rochester, where she lives with her family, is a natural progression for her.

"I put myself in the business with a $400 start and now here we are," Rice said. "I have been a business owner for 16 years. I started bringing my products to farmers markets — local yarns and knit wear. Bartlettyarns now has three components — wholesale, retail and individual customer processing."

For Knit in Public Day on June 10, Rice is inviting people to visit and learn about the store as the well-known Maine business establishes new roots in Rochester.

"We encourage you to gather to showcase your favorite knit item when visiting at the store," Rice said. Rice said the yarns and roving are produced on antique textile equipment, including what she said is the last remaining spinning mule in the United States.

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"Rochester had 17 woolen mills, and the Gonic Mill also ran spinning mules, spinning 8,000 bobbins, while Bartlettyarns only spins 240," Rice said. "With over 70 colors, in yarns and roving, which are used for spinning and the popular craft, needle felting, this shop is packed with all things sheep and wool related."

The shop offer classes in knitting, crochet and needle felting, as well as gifts. Asked often why she chose Rochester, Rice said she loves the city.

"It is simple," she said. "We believe in the revitalization of downtown Rochester and its rich historic past."

Rice's favorite thing to knit? Hats, she said.

Bartlettyarns is open Wednesday-Saturday in Rochester. Rice said entering 28 North Main St. works best if navigating with a GPS.

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