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3 Questions with a Charlotte Creative: Tanya Cauren, Mad Hatterby Tim Miner on October 7, 2021
“No wonder you’re late. Why, this watch is exactly two days slow.” — Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland (1951 Movie)
We’re late. We’re late … for a very important date. Two days ago — Oct. 6 — was Mad Hatter Day. In Alice in Wonderland terms, today is “Un-Mad Hatters Day.” And, we can think of no better way to celebrate than to introduce you to Charlotte creative, Tanya Cauren.
While she learned to crochet as a child from her grandmother, Cauren didn’t begin honing her fiber art skills in earnest until about 18 months ago (not that dissimilar from our fiber art friend, Kelly Zimmerman).
Now, she’s a whiz, creating colorful, whimsical one-of-a-kind hats (or “head gear swag” as she calls them) she describes as “fun, funky, non-traditional.”
Since grabbing the hooks again and crocheting up a storm, Cauren started the e-commerce brand, YarnGoneWild – YarnCraft, which offers digital hat patterns for sale. She also started HereInMyKitchen, featuring recipes for free and for sale “for those who cook, like to cook and may just want to level up on occasion.”
Currently, she’s not open to commissions on making custom hats, but she is considering it. To help weave Cauren’s creative tale, we asked three questions about her journey.
Why do you love hats so much? When did the attraction start?
Our hats … our crowns … bring a little sumpin’ sumpin’ to the game, however one defines “the game.” I’ve been a hat fan from the giddy-up. They allow a level of self expression that is unique. When I put on a hat, a pair of hoops (earrings), my specs (glasses) and a little lipstick, I’m ready for the world … for real!
What makes a fine hat? One that makes you say, “Oooooh! That’s awesome!”
Does it do something to or for you, the wearer? Does it move you forward, make you feel good, elevate your smile/mood/confidence, enhance everything else you got going on including just being you? From the viewer’s perspective, did it bring light to their day to see your hat?
Sometimes I forget I’m wearing one of my hats and I get all the feels when folks shoot me a smile or encouraging comment: “I really like your hat (shared with various levels of inflection and hand gestures). How can I get one?”
How do you come up with your ideas?
I’m inspired by shapes, stitches, colors (in all different combinations), other artists — be they visual, fiber, milliners, designers. Music plays a role in it, as well. Straight ahead jazz is at the top of the list, followed by funk with a heavy back beat and baseline.
Let’s not forget church and the mothers of the church, owning and wearing big Sunday hats like nobody’s business! In terms of coming up with ideas, in no specific order. It’s all about a thought, a yarn and a hook.
And … one to grow on: What’s your favorite color?
“Purple! Albeit, I don’t work in or wear a lot of purple. My twist on the quote from Alice Walker’s The Color Purple: “The universe is happy, when you walk by the color purple and smile.”