I sewed a few, then gave myself a rest. When I came back to it, I couldn't find my needle, so I went a little crazy and took a new one out of this packet.
All of a sudden the sewing was a breeze! The needle went through the fabric like a hot knife through butter! We are all used to changing our machine needles regularly, but I hadn't connected that the same goes for hand sewing needles too! We just blithely carry on using the same needles time after time, and new needles cost pence. Why not retire your hand sewing needles and replace them with new ones. You'll be surprised at the difference!