I have been knitting since I was 20. There are very few things I love doing more than creating items of beauty, utility, or simply whimsy on my needles. During times of economic hardship, it has been reassuring to know that I can always present a friend with a hand-knit gift and that it will be appreciated. Sometimes I have even managed to make money off my creations. In the autumn of 2006, while unemployed and with a lot of time on my hands, I entered a sock design contest. It would be wonderful to report that I won the grand price, but even though the top prizes went to others, it was encouraging that the judges placed my three designs in the top 20.