This morning’s walk took me as far as this lovely canal bridge. It’s known affectionately amongst local boaters as “The Eye of the Needle” as it’s probably one of the narrowest bridge holes on the network. To thread your narrowboat through it without clipping the brickwork requires slowing down and lining up very carefully. Even when you’ve put the bows through and think you’ve got it sussed it seems able to give the stern a surprising nudge as you exit. The scars on the brickwork and stone are testament to those who didn’t take it slowly!
Taking it slowly also applies to working with leather. Hand sewing is great but very time consuming. Machine sewing requires a long stitch, a good needle and being able to control the speed and positioning accurately. There’s nothing more infuriating than coming to the end of a line of stitching when your foot slips on the pedal and suddenly, all your hard work is ruined and you have to start again.
With this wonderful 1950 machine I can do beautiful top-stitching at a pace that’s totally controlled. Pearl is such a joy to use as well. The great thing is that if this machine can’t sew through a piece of leather, it won’t even try and saves you ruining a piece of leather.
So there you go – the advantages of taking it slowly!