Year of Projects #3: Putting my head down

Normally I’d finish the phrase ‘put my head down’ with ‘and get on with it’. This week however, ‘and sleep’ would be more appropriate, as I seem to have dozed my way through most of my free time! Thanks so much for all your well wishes last week – it was lovely opening up my inbox to sympathetic messages, as I always feel very sorry for myself when I have a cold. Since this one was combined with hayfever, I feel I had good cause! The cold has left me rather exhausted, but I’m just about coping. There has been a lot of stitching going on, on the sofa, in front of the TV, under a blanket!

Well, not entirely.

It’s not on my official list, but something I’ve been wanting to do for ages is use my hand-cranked machine. I haven’t had it out since the class I took, and I was scared I would have forgotten everything. Yes, I have the manual, but that’s not the same as using something regularly and being used to its quirks. To my relief, I managed to sew with it quite happily once I got the bobbin in the casing, and it really does do exactly what I want. I don’t often sew little things, but when I do, this is going to be the machine for me. My big machine just doesn’t do those little things as well as this can!

I have been working on things from my list as well, though.

I added a few rows to my Damson. Only a few mind – each row takes 20-30 minutes now, so although the end is in sight technically, really I can only see it if I use binoculars. But I’m determined to wear it for our holiday later in the year, so as long as I keep adding 3 rows a week, I’ll be happy with my progress.

For the rest of my list, I’ve taken some decisions about not finishing projects that I just don’t love. It’s hard, but one of the good things about my list is that it’s helped me think about what I do and don’t want to spend my time on. So it’s out with an unloved skirt, and itchy top and another skirt that was never going to work, and on with a long-neglected project for a friend’s baby (who’ll be a toddler by the time I finish, at this rate!)

In nicer news, my swap shawl is ready to block, 2 designs are at the photography stage, and I spent a happy few hours on Friday swatching my Rainbow scarf design (apologies anyone who was subjected to my terrible swatch puns on Twitter!)

It’s been one of those frustrating experiences where you accidentally get it right the first time, and get progressively worse every time you try to replicate it. Hopefully by spending some quality time with my crochet hook tonight, I’ll get back to where I started and the pattern will be ready pretty soon after that.

So what’s that? 3 WIPs gone (not finished, admittedly, but gone), 1 at the finishing stage and 2 well on their way? I’d say that was pretty good going. It’s been great how much more focused the YoP has made me. Now when I’m restless for something to do, I go to my list and do a little of something, rather than creating yet another WIP. I definitely recommend it as an anti-distraction tool, even for someone with a butterfly brain like me.

And the sun has even come out. How’s that for progress?


7 thoughts on “Year of Projects #3: Putting my head down

  1. Oh my gosh, I think I have that same machine! Or at least one very similar! Stumbled across her in an antique store a couple of years ago and she’s absolutely a champ! My hand crank goes through multiple layers of weird things (like 2 fabric,one batting and three cotton webbing layers on a shopping bag) without batting a presser foot at them! My treadle is OK at this but my electric machine goes into vapor lock at the mere thought! LOVE my hand crank Singer!!


  2. Just love your sewing machine and as someone who likes to sew a bit and whose machine just doesn’t like to do what its told I can appreciate someone else doing it and their machine behaving! I think you did great for a week and your right to cut out what wip’s are not working for you, hope you improve this week and your cold and hayfever subside.


  3. What a beautiful looking machine, way back..when I was in school, girls had to learn sewing. I busted so many needles, and ruined so many bobbins, gave my instructor so many grey hairs..I’ve been terrified to go near a machine ever since..

    and bravo on making the decision to chuck projects..I’m not there yet, but have a couple that are getting close..



  4. Definitely good going, sometimes the decision just has to be made and it sounds like you found the strength to make it. Your sewing machine is beautiful.


  5. When you say hand crank, do you mean you use your hand on the wheel? How do you sew without both hands on the fabric etc? What year is your sewing machine? I have one probably much older then yours? Was my Grandmothers, then my Aunt’s. It’s a singer Treddle, no red on it. Never saw one with pretty red. Mine has lots of gold on it. Love the pretty purple shawl.


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