Random Thursday


As an Institutional Researcher, this is about 90% of what I do daily. Because Institutional Research is one of those more or less obscure careers – most people have no idea what it is, even a fair number of the rank and file in academia – there’s no predominant path people take to get here. In the three and half or so years I’ve been in this profession, I think that my background as a social worker has been far more useful than my background as a researcher or a statistician. Social workers are trained to see person-in-environment – to explicitly see the context of a particular set of circumstances. More than anything else I do, being able to set the context around any particular piece or set of data is by far the most valuable (and also most often overlooked by users of data). (If you want an example, ask me about the IPEDS Graduation Rate Survey sometime.. *smile*)

I apparently smell like jelly beans today. *shrug*

The Peterson’s Graduate Survey has become officially known as “The Evil Survey(tm)” by my student survey monkey. This amusing me for several reasons, not the least of which being that it is truly an evil survey.

I promised pictures of Ornette; here are a couple from when I hit the 3 inch mark a few days ago (row 36 or the 40 row cable pattern):

As usual, all pictures are clickable thumbnails.

I’m knitting the large size of the pattern and started with the right sock. I’m using Cherry Tree Hill Supersock Merino yarn on US1 needles. I thought I had a set of Harmony US1s, but I can’t find them so I’m using Clover bamboo needles, which are just not quite pointy enough for the cabling and causing the yarn to be splittier than I think it should be. Despite the heavily cabled appearance, the sock is fairly elastic – relaxed, it measures about 6.5 inches, but it stretches enough not to be tight or luck stretched out around my 10.5 inch lower calf. (I’d show you a picture, but it’s rather difficult to take a picture of your own calf, particularly when the interesting part of the pattern is on the outside!)

At Cookie’s request, I washed and blocked it this morning (I’m now through row 40, one full repeat of the cable chart), but apparently can’t take a non-blurry picture today; it also appears darker because it’s still damp.

The yarn did bloom a little in washing, but I didn’t lose as much stitch definition as it appears from the pictures. I might go outside at lunch and try to get some better pictures.

A caveat: I’m test knitting the pattern along with a couple dozen other folks, so it’s possible that the pattern I knit will be different from the final released pattern. There have been one or two minor revisions already, but for cosmetic purposes; the pattern is well written and easy to follow if you understand how to read charts. I’ve been doing the cabling without a cable needle, which is a bit of a new trick with the small gauge (and is another reason I’d really like some pointier needles).


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