I stopped by the yarn shop tonight and picked up a skein of Bravo Fun (looks ordinary red in the photo, but in RL is practically fluorescent, with a skinny thread of blues/greens/yellows twined 'round it). Gonna whip her up a cheerful little kitty that she can keep on her desk. She can talk to it (well, it looks better than talking to herself, no?), squash it, smack it, throw it at annoying people who keep bringing her more stuff to invoice, cuddle it, and generally transfer her frustrations to it and it won't complain or suffer (and maybe the colour will help her fool her cold hands into thinking it's making them warmer).
Also, while I was there, bought some sock yarn (in color #5483) ... it's the kind that's space-dyed to make nifty patterned stripes as you knit ... and a set of double-pointed bamboo needles, so now I'm committed to venturing into sock territory! As soon as I finish my two scarves-in-progress.
I shall keep you posted.