Wednesday, November 08, 2006

Helping Hands

I'll warn you, I have a hand theme today so work with me and yes, this does have something to do with knitting.

First, thank you (hear my hands clapping for you) to my fellow Americans and specifically my Virginian peeps for rocking the vote yesterday. We were not content to sit on our hands and instead braved the weather and long lines to exercise our privilege to vote. Now, promise me you'll do the same in 2008. Pulleeezzzeee?!?!?!

On any given Fall or Winter day, here's where you will find my hands when not clenched on some knitting needles.

Yes, they're firmly wrapped around my favorite mug that is filled with something so close to scalding hot that my lips usually recoil before I even turn the cup up. These days, its tea which is not my beverage of choice but I'm trying to cut down on my coffee intake because I am way too addicted to it. Tea does not make me exceedingly happy but it will have to do.

Observe the stubby dry nails that have become brittle from the cold. Note the sad grey color of my hands. My fam calls this "ashy" which means that loads of lotion, cream, moisturizer, cocoa butter, etc. are in constant need from October - May. Couple this challenge with wool yarn that sucks the moisture out of your body if you venture near it and what you have is seven months of dry hand misery. Now I know that I'm not the only one whose hands suffer when the weather gets cold. And yet, every year, I go through gallons of different lotions that claim to cure dry hands only to be disappointed time and again with their performance.

Here's where you can lend me and your fellow knitters a helping hand.

Send me a review of your favorite hand lotion/moisturizer either by email at indigomuse at verizon dot net or in the comments. In your review, please include the full name of the product, how much you paid for it, where you bought it and why you would recommend it to your fellow fiber fiends. I'll randomly select a different one each week for my own personal review (and your input too if you've tried the product)which I'll post here on my blog. We'll do some voting and a drawing in a couple of months for some post holiday prezzies.

I'll start this coming Monday. I can't wait to hear what y'all are using. I'm willing to try almost anything at this point.

My hands were busy working on the Double Top Secret Project last night while the election results sllloooowwwwllyy came in. It's almost finished. Sorry I can't show you more but I can tell you that I love how its turning out.

What I will show you are the latest additions I made this summer to my knitted friends collection. These pink cuties are modified Thrifty Critters.

Thrifty Critters with Mods

Body - 1/2 skein (about 35 yds) per critter of Moda Dea Cartwheel in Raspberries and Neopolitan
Eyes - tiny bits of Debbie Bliss Cashmerino and Blue Moon Roving
Needles - Clover bamboo double points size 4
Time - not sure but probably 2 - 3 hours for both including detail work

Finished size
6" tall

I decided that mine needed legs and arms the same length though they have a varied number of fingers and toes. Since I don't crochet, I made a 6 stitch bobble for the eyes and embroidered the pupils using Blue Moon roving. The hair is also roving and I gave them each a braided rattail. To stuff the body, I crammed fiberfil into a stocking leg and then crammed that into the body cavity. I then filled their bums with rice so they'd sit up on their own before securing the stocking and cinching up the last few stitches.

This pattern was fun to knit, a tad fidgety but then again its on double points and a great way to use up bits of yarn. The cartwheel yarn feels great but because of its thick and thin nature, its hard to get a consistent gauge when knitting with it which is why I went down so many needle sizes. I'm thinking about making some with elf hats to give as Christmas gifts. They sit so nicely on the mantle that they're begging to hold a stocking.

One final hand note. There is this naughty bit that I had to share - The Ketchup Effect. I don't know what the movie is about but this clip is too funny for words. Don't watch it with the kiddies in the room. Enjoy!


Knittykim said...

no review, but I used to live in CT and VA, and nothing would cut through the cracked-flakey-ashy hands better than Neutrogena Swiss Formula hand cream. I takes 5 minutes to rub in, but it really does work.

KnitNana said...

Oh, I've used the Neutrogena (fisherman's formula) too! But right now I'm using Curel Ultra Healing - with extra-strength skin hydrators (and Natural Healing lotion with Lavender at night) -cream. I really like the cream. Probably paid less than $6 at Walmart for each of them. I have such dry fingers (somewhat hereditary, as Mom did, too) that they split open and bleed sometimes in the cold. I also wear gloves...and fingerless mitts over top as I have a touch of Reynauds.

Renee said...

I like Johnson's Baby Lotion (the pink stuff). It is light (I hate heavy moisturizers), has a pleasant touch of scent and works. Oh, and it's cheap as all get out which is good if you intend to slather it on all day long...

gray la gran said...

i don't have the specs as outlined, but i recommend aquaphor. found at any drugstore, and i think has a vasoline feel to it, but, it deeply moisturizes and keeps those hands & fingers from being all dry and cracking.
so, no, it's not all "fresh" and yummy smelling, as it's more like a medicine vs. a cosemetic.

Jennifer said...

Two recommendations.

1. Bliss Lemon Sage Body Butter. Purchased from for $16.99 for 8.5 fluid ounces. A bit pricey, but it is heaven on my hands and has great staying power, despite winter and wooly activities.

2. Eucerin Original Moisturizing Lotion, Purchased from Target for $9ish for 16oz. I've just started using this as directed by my doctor for some skin problems caused by change of weather and exposure to wool. In about 4 days, I've seen some nice improvements. Of course, the antibiotics and steriods could be helping as well, but I'm using the lotion on my entire hands, not just the icky parts and everything looks great! The Eucerin also looks to be available from if you can't find it locally.

cheekiemary said...

Ahh, a plea close to my heart - dry skin relief. I am from the complete other end of the spectrum - as pale skinned of an Irish strawberry blonde with freckles and blonde lashes and brows as you can get - and have extremely dry AND sensitive skin. I may not look ashy, but sometimes I look diseased with the dry splotches on my body. I have two things that have worked well for me, combined with an extremely high water intake on a daily basis. For face and neck I use Cetaphil, purchased at the grocery store to cleanse (20 fl. oz. for about $9), followed by their moisturizer at night. For the hands and the rest of the body I use Lubriderm (6 fl. oz. $4), also from the grocery store. The Cetaphil rec came from a book called "Don't Go to the Cosmetic Counter Without Me" by Paula Begouin - it is updated regularly and basically gives a fantabulous review of everything on the American market. Hope this helps in some way, nothing worse than dry, scaly, itchy skin.

jenifleur said...

Ok, I have shouted this from the rooftops but I will keep shouting. I even passed around a jar of this at SAFF to prove my point, with many approving nods and questions.

No-Crack Super Hand Cream from Restoration Hardware. Available on their website if you don't have a store handy. $7.00 for 4 oz and $15.00 for 12 oz. This stuff is made in Wisconsin where they *know* dry hands, ok? It rubs in reasonably easy and doesn't leave you feeling greasy. This is important to me; it's a long story but I have a morbid phobia of greasy or sticky hands-I think this makes it especially suitable for knitters so as not to be-gum their knitting or be-fiber their hands. It comes in numerous mild scents or unscented. Your hands will sigh with relief.

amy said...

i am a big fan of the burt's bees almond milk and beeswax hand creme. i think it runs about $8 for a 2 oz. jar. the stuff smells amazing and it is on the thicker side which i prefer in my lotions...

Sorka said...

My son gets THE worst dry hands I aver saw. I use Eucerin Aquaphor on them, or when they are really red and angry Nature's Sunshine Golden Salve is like theeee best.. (and it works better than anything I have used on nasty red diaper rash and irritation!) all natural too!
Well The Nature's Sunshine I think you can get online..

Anonymous said...

I used to live in Logan, Utah, which has 8 months of winter and negative humidity! I swear by the Mary Kay hand set--it has a hand scrub, a washing gel, a hand lotion, and (the best part) this slimy red goo that you rub into your hands at night. It feels grimy and it doesn't smell the best, but it works SO WELL! Especially if you get some of those "moisturizing gloves."

It also works really well on cracked heels, which is my biggest problem in the winter.

Anonymous said...

I don't know why it's not letting me put my name in, but that last comment (about the Mary Kay) is from Kim/aka Chef Messy.

Amy Boogie said... This company makes this Body butter stuff that is amazing. The smells are great, I'm so addicted to her goodies but the cream is amazing. I only use it once or twice a day and my hands have stayed in really good shape so far this year. The really nice thing is that it's thick and good but not greasy. I can put it on in the bathroom and by the time I walk back the bedroom or living to knit, it's dry and I'm good to go. (full disclosure - the owner of evermore is a friend of mine but I would recommend this stuff anyway) $12 for an 8 oz jar.

For the super dry parts like heels and elbows I use the brown sugar body polish

Anonymous said...

As I go to bed at night I use Johnson's Baby Oil Gel or Creamy Baby Oil and slather it all over my hands. Really inexpensive. Keeps the cuticles moisturized also. There is also a Johnson's Creamy Oil in the adult lotion section now. I think it is under $5 on sale.
(I don't have a blog or website)


somebunnysloveDOTcom said...

Gold Bond has a great lotion for dry cracked skin that not only soothes and heals, but also it barely has an odor. It is the only lotion whose smell my MIL can tolerate. As for scented lotions, I use Victoria Secret's Vanilla Lace because that is the only scent both my husband and MIL can stand.

ikkinlala said...

I'm using calendula salve that my mom made. No review, since it's not widely available, but it seems to be working well for me.