Editor’s note: Nancy Cox is the founder of Research Story Consulting and former CPG corporate researcher. Her work and play include words, sketchpads, cooking (not baking) and the occasional sock puppet.

Passions, hobbies, healthy distractions and even guilty pleasures – discover how the research community plays and how that plays out in their work life. In the Venn diagram of work and play, what happens when work and play overlap? Research colleagues share their work and play stories in this interview series by Nancy Cox. 

Making things, especially knitting and crocheting. With my knitting I am a forever beginner – intermediate level but love doing it. I enjoy making something from almost nothing – just a thread – and putting something out into the world. An example, I once had scraps of yarn that friends and family had given me. I got the idea I wanted to make something grand – a large blanket. By using these scraps, I created colorful sections that became an impressive blanket. I made this large blanket because at the time I was job hunting and expecting something grand would come my way. As I wrapped up my project, a job offer was extended to me – perfect timing! The blanket also comes in handy now because it gets cold in my office in Wisconsin.I see knitting as social. I give away much of what I make – scarves and beanies to my husband, my mother-in-law, my friends. I know people are wearing them. Often these small gifts become a conversation starter that brings people close. In chatting about the knits, we learn about each other because we humans have the nature of crafting and sharing. Funny that I like the social aspect so much that I don’t have much of my own work that I can show you in this interview.

Knitting skills help me with my research work, like planning ahead, learning by trial, risking new patterns, having a sense of progress over time, stitching together threads and tying togethe...