Sunday, February 6, 2011

It's Super Bowl Sunday, and I'm Making Buttons

I must be getting older. Today is Super Bowl Sunday and I find myself doing things I wasn't doing when I was younger.

For example, my traditional activity on a day like today used to be getting together with a group of friends to play a game of touch football in the snow. "Snow Bowl", we called it. After that it was off to a pub for some chili and beer, before catching the main event on someone's big screen T.V.

What am I doing this year instead?

Well, "Snow Bowl" is not on my agenda because I've learned long ago that a 50-year old body and a 20-year-old brain do not play well together. Once the game adrenaline starts going the body starts listening to the brain, and before long the body receives a painful reminder that it is no longer designed to perform at the level that the 20-year-old brain thinks it can.

That said, instead of football in the snow I ended up spending some productive time taking an old spinning wheel to an antiques restorer to see about getting in back in working order. Teresa is big on knitting, and has long been fascinated with the idea of spinning her own fibre into yarn. It turns out that an old spinning wheel she received from my mother is actually a working wheel, and with a little bit of TLC it will soon be back in working order again.

As a woodworker the task of restoring a wooden spinning wheel was possibly something I could have taken on myself. But I'm smart enough to know that I'm no expert on the nuances of spinning wheels. In fact, I think the smartest move I made was bringing this thing to an expert, to let him work his magic to make sure things were done right.

The spinning wheel should be back in a few months time, and I'll write a follow up post at that time.

My other big accomplishment this weekend was making buttons.

Yes, buttons.

Teresa started knitting some cowls recently and was having difficulty finding good quality wood buttons. While there is no shortage of buttons or woodworkers making buttons to be found online, the challenge is one of finding high quality and well finished pieces.

When all was said and done I volunteered to make her some buttons - exactly to the size and in the colours she wanted. Making these things piqued my interest, if for no other reason than it put some exotic wood scraps of mine to good use. As it turns out, the process of making these buttons was also rather fun.

The first cowl shown here was made with handspun yarn which came from a place called Sheeping Beauty. I made the oval buttons from a wood called Bubinga.

This second cowl was made out of acrylic boucle', with the 3 buttons being made from a complementary sampling of Macassar Ebony.

I'll still be watching the Super Bowl today. In fact, after finishing this post I'll be off to "M" and "P's" house for some football and chili, plus a pint and a scotch. (Since "M" is cheering for the Steelers, I'll say "Go Packers"!!!)

I may be getting older, but there's still plenty of ways to have fun.

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