I finished the tax. I got it all printed out and all together. I sat down at the computer in a fairly composed state this morning – and couldn’t log on. I have been doing it without a hitch on-line in January for a decade or so. It is as if my anxiety, this year, about whether I could do it, has itself created the problem.
I floundered about for quite a while, finding various help screens into which I typed my husband’s Taxpayer Reference Number and his National Insurance Number, each of them a unique identifier, let alone in combination, and they kept saying they could find no such account. Finally I got through, and they are going to send me in the post a new Government Gateway User ID – I think that’s the problem.
There’s still time, although if the new number doesn’t get me in I don’t know what I’ll do.
And there’s still Perdita’s operation, scheduled for Thursday, to worry about. She’s still in heat, although it’s subsiding. We’ll see, tomorrow.
Meanwhile knitting continues well, very comforting on so stressful a day. I’ve reached row 57, of 86, in the border pattern of Mrs Hunter’s shawl.
And I found myself wondering, when did charts come in? and why? Was there a pivotal moment? For lace knitting, Amedro’s “Shetland Lace” in ’96 – good heavens! as late as that! – must have been the last serious text-based lace book. Hazel Carter’s “Shetland Lace Knitting from Charts” – the title implies that that wasn’t then the norm – was published in 1987.
Mrs Hunter’s pattern is so easy that I haven’t had to chart it. It’s meticulously accurate. But – this is hard to express – the ()’s and the *’s don’t exactly relate to the motifs and it has been difficult, sometimes, in the modern idiom, to get my head around what’s going on. Whereas I have knit many of Amedro’s patterns and have loved the gentle rhythm of her “take”’s and “cast”’s.
I have knit a couple of things from the remarkable Bestway leaflet – “Traditional Shetland Scarves and Shawls” – which I hope Jamieson & Smith still sell. My only possible recourse, there, was to chart the patterns row by row. The accuracy of the proof-reading there is simply astonishing.
Somewhere in my extensive archives I think I actually have a pattern for a Fair Isle sweater, cut from a magazine, in which the pattern is written out row by row: K4blue, 5 yellow…. I think the first Kaffe Fassett pattern I ever saw, in a VKB of – what date? I’ll see if I can find it tomorrow – was more or less like that. “Glorious Knitting”, 1985, is firmly charted.
Maybe it was just the inexorable rise of common sense.