Dyer, knitter, weaver, spinner, seamstress, and cook – living abroad in Shanghai, China
As the granddaughter of noted Pacific-Northwest weaver Grace Carter, Cate Carter-Evans was introduced to the world of fiber arts very early – she wove her first fabric on a Brio loom at age 6. Inspired by her grandmother’s collection of spinning wheels and small herd of Romney sheep, early spinning attempts followed – the seeds of a fiber habit had been sown!
Cate got her first wheel in college, and began dyeing soon after. She started knitting basic sweaters of her own design from her handspun and obsessing over Turkish socks. There may have been some late night dorm-room shrieking when she finally figured out the figure-8 cast on.
After acquiring a used floor loom, she dove in to teaching herself to weave. There were several early disasters, including a hand-spun “blanket” that combined Merino with Black Welsh Mountain Sheep fleece, and a living room snowdrift of light blue fibers when she attempted to use some “bargain” chenille as a warp yarn.
Meanwhile, Cate’s aunt had a very special loom waiting in storage. Used by Cate’s grandmother Grace, the loom had originally belonged to Cate’s great-grandmother Pearl. It needed a complete overhaul of its shaft-lifting system. Rich Carter (Cate’s Dad) took on this project, and the loom has been working hard ever since.
After working in the tech sector after college, Cate started her own sewing business specializing in custom clothing and costumes. Her clients included musicians, belly dancers, fire performers, and other fancy folk. After three years and an apprenticeship is women’s tailoring, Cate decided to focus on garment construction and production on a grand scale, and went back to the corporate world.
She worked as an Apparel Developer, and Manager of Operations and Planning at a humongous sportswear company before eventually being transferred to China to manage a global product line.
Soon after arriving in Shanghai, two important but seemingly unrelated events occurred:
- First, Rich Carter (Cate’s Dad) created the first prototypes of what would become the Acadia Artisan Spinning Wheel.
- Second, Cate traveled to the remote Qinghai province of China and taught rural Tibetan women how to use spinning wheels as part of a jobs-creation program led by yak fiber company Shokay.
Seeing the amazing yarn that could be produced in rural China and Rich’s sleek and modern wheel design, Cate wanted to share these heirloom quality craft materials - Infinite Twist was born.
Through Infinite Twist, she offers knitting kits featuring hand-spun yarn produced in Qinghai and in Shanghai, a range of hand-dyed mill-spun yarns in painterly colors, and of course, her Dad’s spinning wheel.
This summer, she’ll be launching Rich’s new loom design, a new pattern collection of knitted sea creatures, and, best of all, teaching at Camp Aloha Friends!
Won’t you join us? Cate’s class list includes:
- Weave on a Chop-stick Loom (and make a hand-woven clutch bag!)
- Make cocktail bitters and herbal tinctures,
- Ferment delicious kimchi!
- Make your own Chinese ball buttons,
- Piece Crazy Log Cabin Quilt blocks with scrumptious textiles!
Cate blogs about knitting and life in China on Infinite Twist’s blog, The Pursuit of Craftiness, and sends out a free knitting pattern every month via her newsletter.
She’s just set up an Infinite Twist Ravelry group, and would be super stoked if you’d join it. She hopes to see you at Camp!