While knitting isn't quite as hard on your hands as hand-washing dishes without gloves, it is very drying - especially if you knit with wool. One would think that the lanolin in the wool would actually condition the fingers but, in my experience, it doesn't help much.
So, keeping lotions in my knitting bags has become a necessity. Cassandra made (you read that right), MADE, this awesome solid lotion. You can make your own by following her recipe, found here.
As much as I love my Cassandra-made solid lotion, my all-time favorite hand cream is No-Crack. Crazy name, I know. But in the rough Wisconsin winters, hands crack all the time. I used to get deep, painful fissures in the sides of the index fingers and, occasionally, on the tips as well. It took me a few years to figure out that, between the cold weather, the forced-air heat, and my age, I could no longer get away without treating my hands better.
No-Crack actually works and has a really interesting origin story. Made right here in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, No-Crack started as an experiment. This copy is from the Duluth Trading Company website (where you can buy the product, of course):
Arthur sold the company in 1993 and the two guys who bought it vowed (and kept their promise) to continue to produce the hand lotion just as Arthur had created it. They've added to the line - producing various scents - but I tend to always revert to the original "Unscented Day Use" cream. The "super" and "night" versions are a little too greasy for me and I find the day cream to work for all purposes.One summer's day back in the 1940's, a woman walked into Hebberd's Drugs in LaCrosse, WI and asked for "bag balm" – a thick, greasy cream that farmers rubbed on cow's udders, to keep them from getting chafed and sore from all that squeezing and pulling. She explained she wanted it for her hands, not her cows. Enterprising young pharmacist Arthur Hebberd, the owner's son, said they didn't carry it, but he'd see what he could whip up.
Arthur liked to experiment with different concoctions – deodorants, perfumes, shampoos and such. Now he created a hand cream. Next time the woman came in, she tried it. "It's too greasy," she said. "I couldn't use it during the day."So Arthur developed a new kind of non-greasy hand cream that people could use as often as they needed to, without having to wipe away messy residue. It was a rich, heavy cream, made from lanolin, allantoin, mineral oil and other ingredients. He gave it a simple name: No-Crack® Hand Cream.
So, if you need a really hard-core hand lotion, I highly recommend No-Crack. It's available in various places online. Happy knitting with soft hands!