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Friday, December 29, 2006

More Opalessence

I've been doing more spinning on the Opalessence from The Woolen Rabbit (merino/silk/angora). I've almost finished the first ounce and I'm not sure if I'll be able to fit two more ounces on this bobbin (I have a total of 6 ounces and was going to try to spin 3 ounces of singles on two bobbins, then ply them together - probably on my Majacraft plying bobbin - to get a big skein of laceweight goodness). The Kromski bobbins are sized in the 4 ounce range, but silk and angora are so lightweight that you get more yardage per ounce out of them than you would wool spun at the same number of wpi.

One thing I have discovered is that I was underestimating the oil hog nature of a new Kromski. It is a well documented fact all over the Internets that new Kromskis need oiling. A lot. I actually unpacked and assembled the wheel two days before Christmas and started oiling and treadling to work the oil through the wheel, hoping to save myself some frustration when I introduced fiber to the wheel on Christmas day. I think I've got it pretty well started but as I was spinning yesterday afternoon, I noticed that the flyer wasn't seeming to move as quickly as I thought it should. I added some more oil to the leather bearings that hold the flyer and ZOOOM! It was off spinning the way it should and I was getting the twist into the yarn much more quickly. I seem to need to oil those bearings about every hour to hour and a half because the leather just eats up the oil. Coming from the Majacraft which gets oil in one place, once a year, I've had to adjust my thinking a bit on oiling a wheel. And just in case you were wondering, the way I understand it, once you get the wheel good and oily, you don't have to oil it anymore than any of the other wheels (but probably still more than once a year), it just takes a bit to get the oil worked through on the Kromski's.

Finally, my brother in law (my husband's brother) is going into the hospital today and will be there for 5 or 6 days. He has a severe virus that, while treatable, requires hospitalization and all kinds of poking and prodding by doctors that will be no fun. They hope to confirm the original diagnosis today and then start treating him and while I can't spell the stuff they'll be putting him on, I know that the diagnosis confirmation will involve a spinal tap. I know we'd all really appreciate prayers for him this weekend as he is going through this. Thanks! I'll see you all next year!

ETA: Lynn of the comments yesterday, I replied in the comments to your question about Bristow. Blogger doesn't give me email addresses to reply to.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Stash Enhancement

I got a bit of Spinning Stash Enhancement right before Christmas that I hadn't shown you so I figured I'd trot it out today and give you a break from more pictures of the Opalessence. These are single batts from two different sets of Kitchen Sink Batts from the Knotty Sheep. On the right is Chilly Cheeks and on the left is Twilight Keeper. I can't remember exactly what fibers are in each of them (they're called Kitchen Sink Batts for a reason), but Kary usually blends two or more types of wool with some silk (I know that the white streaks in Twilight Keeper are silk) and adds a bit of Angelina (a sparkly synthetic fiber that makes the spun yarn twinkle). I really can't recommend Kary's batts enough, her colors are beautiful and her fiber blends are so soft and wonderful. I've even bought some undyed batts from her when she destashed!

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Spinning on the Symphony

Thanks for all the complements on the new wheel! I'll have to get a picture of it next to my Majacraft Rose. You know in your head that Saxony wheels are bigger than Castle wheels (the footprint alone is a big difference), but sitting next to each other, the Symphony makes the Rose look like a toy wheel. The Rose isn't jealous though, after all she has Happy and Gribboly Nibbet. The Kromski wheels are among the most historically accurate wheels available today, but I'm not sure where the spinners of yore kept their little plastic action figure mascots - they keep sliding off the tilted table!

Above you can see the first skein I did on the Symphony. It's Coopworth, which is the fiber I learned to drop spindle with, the fiber I learned how to spin on a spinning wheel with, and the fiber I return to when I'm learning something new and don't want to deal with learning quirks of a new fiber. Its a two ounce skein and I didn't count yardage. This is the leftovers from the blue and green Easter Egg dyeing I did a long time ago. I just drafted the colors together, so there are some parts that are pretty evenly mixed, some parts that are more green and some that are more blue. This is a great technique for mixing colors if you don't have a drum carder or just want to add some depth to your yarn color. You could easily mix two or more colors of the dyed commercial top that's easily available out there and make a much more interesting yarn. Deb Menz' Color in Spinning is an excellent book about different ways to get different color effects with your spinning. It's also some of the best spinning eye candy out there!

The Symphony can be used with either Double Drive or Scotch Tension. I had never spun on Double Drive before so I asked the Spindler's group for pro's and con's and found out that Double Drive was the earliest system used for flyer type spinning wheels and that when given the choice, some of the more experienced spinners suggested using the Double Drive for slippery fibers like angora and silks. So, after I had a feel for the Symphony with the Coopworth, I pulled out some Merino, Silk and Angora - Opalessence from The Woolen Rabbit to be exact - and started spinning it. I'm spinning it to about 38 wpi as singles and am hoping for lace weight as a finished yarn. I have 6 ounces of it. I'm already seeing some angora blooming and you can see the shine from the silk in the picture above.

One other thing I've started doing with this project, but I hope to continue is to keep better records of my spinning. I picked up a couple of small spiral notebooks, one for each wheel, and I wrote the ratios for each whorl on the inside front cover. Then I wrote the fiber source, color name, fiber content and amount of fiber purchased, as well as which ratio I'm using to spin the singles and what wpi I'm spinning them to. I also included the start date for the spinning and will include the finish date and the total yardage. There's space for me to attach samples of yarn in the notebooks too, which I might or might not do. I figure this will help me keep track if I need to spin more yarn of a certain type or just see how I've done things so I can make more educated guesses how to spin things in the future.

Tuesday, December 26, 2006

Dear S*ny,

Thank you so much for releasing the P$3 this Christmas Season. You have no idea how happy I am that you've made such a quality product. I understand it totally blows the P$2 out of the water. Cordless controllers? As anyone who's puppy has unplugged controllers in the middle of an intense gun fight knows, this is genius. The fact that it will continue to play P$2 and P$1 games? Well, who doesn't love something new that doesn't make their old stuff look obsolete? Bloo R*y Disc? At under $1000, Yee Haw! But what I really love is when my husband decided he wanted one of your fine products, he knew he needed to approach the subject sensitively. Thanks to a great marketing campaign on your part, I was ready for him. So this Christmas, I have to thank you for my own gift, which I needed no more than he needs the P$3, but was longing for with every "fiber" of my being: Look at the gorgeous turnings! Look at the beautiful walnut finish!
Check out the wonders of Double Drive! Know what it is yet?

Its my brand, spanking, new, uber gorgeous Kromski Symphony! I've only had a chance to do a little bit of spinning on it so far, but its wonderful! If anyone is interested in purchasing a Kromski, I have to give Sharon Tree a great big shout out. She gave me some free goodies and free shipping as well as great service. NAYY, but I would definitely recommend checking her out for a Kromski purchase.

(All misspellings are on purpose in an effort to avoid being Googled to death by those looking for the above mentioned, highly poplular electronics product.)

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Conwy Sock #2

I'm past the heel on the second Conwy sock and have started the gusset decreases. As you can see, Spiderman is helping out a bit, but Chicken Little is pretty much just standing around doing nothing. Today is the last day of school around here before the Winter Break, so while Caleb is excited about Christmas, he doesn't really want school to stop either. I've got a little bit of baking to do today and eventually I've got to start wrapping presents. I've been holding off on those as long as possible just to make it easier on Finn. Hopefully he'll ignore the gifts and be a good puppy. I'm not going to blog again until after Christmas so I hope you and your families have a lovely weekend. I hope everyone's travels are safe and may your stockings be filled with fibery goodness or chocolate. Either one is good. Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Mindy's Stole - Part I Don't Even Remember

I am now officially past the 3/4 mark on Mindy's Stole! It mostly looks like a pink alpaca interpretation of Swiss Cheese, but I have enormous faith in the blocking process. If the blocking doesn't work, does anyone know if Swiss Cheese comes in pink? Because I'll have to come up with another name for this thing. And just in case anyone cares (in between addressing Christmas cards, running to the post office, trying to find the bows, realizing you're out of sugar - AGAIN, and wondering why your credit card hasn't evaporated yet) Mindy's Stole is not the "Official" name of this stole. (Sorry Mindy.) It has a name, which will be unveiled when the pattern is ready. I have to create 3 more charts and knit them too, of course, and then I just do the edging and blocking and the stole is finished! I have to go now though, Mickael just walked in with more sugar and I've got some cookies to make.

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

Happy Birthday Caleb!

6 years ago today, Heaven made a shipping error and sent us a little angel! OK, so maybe he's a little sassier than a baby angel would be, but he's still sweeter than we deserved. I love you Caleb. You've filled our days with giggles and songs - and thousands of questions about things we know nothing about. Happy Birthday Jelly Bean!

Monday, December 18, 2006


Friday I was tagged by Judy for the 6 Weird Things meme, so today I'll play along. I realize that family and friends that know me are thinking that only 6 things is just barely scratching the surface, but hey, you've got to start somewhere...

“THE RULES:Each player of this game starts with the ‘6 weird things about you.’ People who get tagged need to write a blog of their own 6 weird things as well as state this rule clearly. In the end, you need to choose 6 people to be tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave a comment that says ‘you are tagged’ in their comments and tell them to read your blog.”

1. Once I get the hiccups, I will have them off and on all day long. They don't really quit until I go to sleep at night. Naps don't work for some reason.

2. I stepped on Kenny Rogers once in a Little Ceasar's Pizza place. It was an accident. I would never step on Kenny Rogers on purpose. I apologized, he said, "Excuse me, darlin'," and then I very calmly walked out of the restaurant before completely freaking out with Mickael - "THAT WAS KENNY ROGERS!!!"

3. If I rest my arm on top of my head and my hand is hanging down, and it stays there long enough, I can actually be scared by seeing my own hand out of the corner of my eye because I forget it's there. Despite this, I really am a brunette.

4. I was born a redhead. When I was 6 weeks old my red hair fell out and I've been a brunette ever since. (Except for some unfortunate experimental lemon juice incidents in high school. My hair has recovered from the lemon juice but is still humiliated by the perms and the height of my bangs during that time.)

5. The first time I went out with Mickael, I knew he was the one I would marry. I just knew.

6. When I was pregnant with Caleb, every night when I went to bed, I couldn't go to sleep until I'd burped twice. Every night. For nine months. It was a very elegant time in my life.

OK, now that I've humiliated myself for all the internet world to see, including some Kenny Rogers fans that might Google their way here accidentally, I'm supposed to tag 6 more people for this, but I think I'll just leave it up to you. If you're reading this, feel free to do this meme, or not. Its up to you!

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Deck the Halls With Pale Green Sockies, Fa La La La La La La La La...

Things are moving right along on the second Conwy sock! I'm about 20 rounds shy of the heel flap. (No matter how long or short I make the sock legs, I feel like the heel flap is the halfway point in a sock.) I've got to get going on Christmas cards this weekend, and last night I realized that I really need to get the gifts that are being shipped over to UPS either today or tomorrow, so I don't think there will be blogging tomorrow - unless I end up taping myself to a gift (I am tape challenged). I hope you all have a great weekend!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

The Last Bobbin of Beach Singles

Yes, I have begun the fourth bobbin of Beach Corridale singles. I was spinning on it last night until I realized that I was putting way too much twist in and my singles were all over the place in size. I decided not to spin last night seeing as my spinning was so off. Instead I just made sure the sofa stayed on the floor. I'm not sick or anything, I think I was just tired last night. I'm anxious to finish up this yarn because I want to see how it looks when its finished. I still have no project planned for it yet, but maybe once its finished it will speak to me. Or, it can just look cute sitting in the stash with the other yarns. Hopefully today will be a better day for spinning.

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Mindy's Stole - Part 6

I've gotten a little farther along on Mindy's Stole, but I have to admit that most of the last few days have involved a sock and finishing up the Christmas decorations (all decorated as of yesterday!). This part of the stole is obviously waiting for blocking to show what its really about anyway, so in order to distract from the pink blob in the picture, I will answer questions from the comments yesterday and show you a sweater that I'm thinking of attempting to figure out (after Mindy's stole is finished, of course):

Judy asked yesterday, "...what the heck is that big plastic thing next to Finn? Looks like a dog Tardis (Dr Who)!" Well, Judy, its been a while since I've seen Dr. Who - all I remember was a REALLY long striped scarf to be honest - but Finn is standing next to his crate AKA His Happy Place (our name, not his). Its such a horrible color of tan - its like the manufacturers tried to find some neutral color that would work everywhere and it really doesn't look good anywhere. We stuck it under the bar on the island in the kitchen so he'd be centrally located and it keeps it out of the way.

Ginny of the comments writes,"I just found your blog and since I can't find an email link to you....I am interested in the mystery shawl series you are starting at the beginning of 2007.." Welcome to the blog Ginny, but I'm not starting a mystery shawl series at the beginning of 2007. I have promised a Mystery Stole 3, but at this point I have no idea when I'll do it since I have no idea what the design will be. I've been very careful not to give even a potential start date on this one. Renee of Bo Peep's Wool Shop did the Mystery Shawls, but I was under the impression that since she's begun the Shawl Club, that she was done with Mystery Shawls. Does anyone else know of someone beginning a mystery shawl series in 2007?

Finally, I ran across this sweater in a catalog earlier in the fall and have been thinking about it ever since. Its knitted in cotton here and I would probably work it in wool, but it looks like to me it wouldn't be too hard to do my own version of it. I love the ribbing lines and I think it would be flattering as well as a fairly simple design. What do you think?

Monday, December 11, 2006

A Sock, A Dog, and A Dark Jedi Knight...

...walk into a bar. Nope, but it does sound like a joke doesn't it? I finished the first Conwy sock and you can see it here, reclining on the Christmas tree. The USS Enterprise seems impressed, but Pepe Le Peu is too busy flirting to notice. I'm really liking these socks. I made the legs a bit longer than I usually do (I was cold this weekend) and I figured with the calf shaping in the pattern it would work out well. It did, the sock fits. One of these days I'm going to make knee highs but I keep forgetting to buy twice as much yarn for the pair of socks than usual. One of these days...

Finn would like to officially thank everyone for their support during his surgery. He had his stitches out on Saturday and he wants to give everyone a big wag and woof! You can kind of see that his tail is fluffing up and he's growing in the flags on his legs. He's doing really great with the Christmas decorations. We discussed the term, "Leave it" when we first started decorating and we've been very slowly decorating the tree so that he can check out ornaments, but now he just gives them a snuffle and the special ones get a kiss too. I've got all the talking ornaments up high enough that he can't reach them. I hope to finish getting ornaments on the tree today so we can get the giant Christmas containers back into the garage.
"Luke, I am your Father! Join me and we will knit this sock as father and son!"

Friday, December 08, 2006

New Socks

They say confession is good for the soul. (I don't know who "they" are, I don't even know if "they" know who "they" are to be perfectly honest.) So here goes: you know the Fall leaves sock I was working on? The one that was partway through the heel flap and had come to a screeching halt? I frogged it. Yep, off with its thread! Granted, I've been pretty much working on Mindy's stole as my exclusive knitting project lately, but not only wasn't I working on this sock, I didn't want to work on the sock. For me, that's a definite sign that something is wrong - either I don't like the pattern or I'm not inspired or something. I love the yarn, don't get me wrong, but after pulling practically every Autumn leaf out of Finn's mouth this Fall, I've about had it with Autumn leaves. Also, I'm ready for some snow! Seriously, we're freezing our patoots off here, if there was snow on the ground it would make us feel like we were freezing for a reason. I know that at the end of next summer, I will be ready to knit the Autumn leaf socks, but for now, they just aren't what I want to knit. I think I was also bored with the pattern I chose - I'll pick a better one next time around.

So, to fill the sock shaped gap in my knitting, I started the Conwy socks from Knitting on the Road by Nancy Bush, Sock Goddess. (She should totally change her name to that don't you think?) The yarn is the KnitPicks dye your own fingering weight - the 100% Merino - that I dyed with Wilton's frosting colors. I love this pale aqua blue, it reminds me of shadows on icebergs. I love the tiny cable braid running down the socks, even though I didn't get a good picture of it (trust me, its there). I think these might be the perfect sock for me, right now. What more could you ask for?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

Mindy's Stole - Part 5

We are definitely past the midpoint of Mindy's Stole now! When I finished knitting the chart where the basket weave transitions to what will become the cherry blossoms, I had to do more charts. This half of the stole is supposed to resemble a cloud of cherry blossoms blowing in the wind*. I'm representing the little bits of blossoms with YO's (negative space), rather than trying to knit a larger shape to represent the blossoms. I tried knitting blossoms and they were just too big, not at all the delicate petals that puff into pink clouds every time a breeze blows through the branches. I'm wanting just a few blossoms in the middle of the stole, increasing to lots of blossoms at the end of the stole. The problem here is that I really think they need to look pretty random. Now I could have been really mean and write the pattern as, "Over the next 224 rows, randomly work 1950 YO's with corresponding decreases, increasing the density of the YO's as you get to the end." Since I'm trying to create a pattern, not a riot, I realized I needed to chart the random petals in the wind. It's very difficult to chart random, so I sat down, divided up the second half of the stole into 7 sections (I worked the basketweave chart 7 times) and got out the calculator. I figured out what the percentage of YO's would be in the final chart and worked backwards to the middle. Then, by figuring the number of stitches on the RS rows in each section(I'm only working the pattern on the RS rows), multiplying that by the percentage of YO's for each section, I can figure out approximately how many YO's I need to put in each chart. I pretty much took the random part right out of the random end of this stole, but it seems to be working. At this point there's a lot of stockinette between the little cherry blossoms, but each chart has more and more going on, so its actually kind of fun to work. I also just started the second ball of yarn (KnitPicks Alpaca Cloud in Peppermint) and I'm thinking that two balls of yarn will be enough for the finished stole, but this half of the stole will eat up more yarn than the first half did, so I'm not guaranteeing it at this point. (Don't go out and buy just two balls of yarn right now - it might take some of a third ball.)

*I will now have Blowin' In the Wind in my head for the rest of the day.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bobbin 3 of the Beach Corriedale

I'm almost through with the third bobbin of this. I definitely think I'm getting a fluffy yarn, but I think I might have changed the size of the singles I'm spinning so I will ply bobbins 1 and 2 with bobbins 3 and 4 instead of the way I had originally planned and separated the roving by weight (1 and 2 together and 3 and 4 together was the original plan) - hopefully this will give me a more even finished yarn.

I did go to Kindergarten yesterday and it went really well. Something about a spinning wheel captures the attention of even the most active and wiggly kids and they sat perfectly still and watched while I spun, both with drop spindles and the wheel. The teachers thought I should hypnotize them every day! Of course before I went, I did some research on the history of spinning (the teacher specifically asked if I could present it in a historical context), re-read at least parts of all of my spinning books and went stash diving to find different fibers for the kids to see and feel. All this has made me really think about where I am with my spinning and where I'd like to go.

Overall I'm pretty happy with my spinning (I mean I get yarn so I must be doing something right), but because I've never had a class, sometimes I question myself and wonder if I'm doing everything in the most efficient way possible. On the other hand, not having classes has probably made me more adventurous with some things just because I didn't know to be afraid of them. Spinning cashmere, silk, and slippery mohair are all considered more challenging because they are so slippery and in the case of cashmere, because of the shorter fiber length. I just picked a whorl with a high ratio, adjusted my take up tension to almost nothing, and treadled like crazy to get the twist in there before it all drifted apart - and it worked. They probably aren't the most technically perfect yarns I've made, but whoever said ignorance is bliss wasn't kidding.

There are some things that I haven't tried yet with spinning and I'm going to set myself some goals for the New Year - New Year's Spinning Resolutions I guess:

I want to spin some linen. Not necessarily tons of it, just enough to figure out if I like it and how its done.

I want to learn how to spin cotton - again, more to try it out and learn how its done.

I want to do more of the "complex" yarns - the kinds of yarns that go beyond 2 or 3 ply. The cabled yarn I made was fun and I'd like to do more of these different types of yarns, maybe try to spin some novelty yarns, just for fun. I'll use colored fibers to spin these with so I don't go crazy with the monotony of the white again.

Finally, I want to dye with "real" dyes. The food color and Easter Egg dyes are fun, but they have definite limitations - purple fades to grey and I have yet to get a stable pink out of the food colors. Caleb is getting older and will leave stuff alone so I feel like it would be safe to venture into the "real" dyes. Also, this will help me with the "Spinning white wool is beautiful, but freakishly boring" issues that I have. I've already ordered a few dyes to play around with!

I'll probably add to this list with some knitting goals and possibly adapt things as we get closer to the beginning of next year, but I like the idea of Fiber Goals for 2007 and I'd like to challenge everyone to make some goals of their own, depending on where you are personally in your fiber adventure and write them down. Whatever goals you choose, they'll be a lot more fun than the yearly weight loss resolutions we all make. Besides, if your hands are full of fiber, you can't very well eat anyway, can you?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Odds and Ends

Mindy's Stole, Part 5 will be on Thursday, today is for various other things. So yesterday I was planning on blogging the spinning of the third bobbin of Beach roving, but as it turned out, I spent yesterday morning at the vet's. Finn has had an upset stomach since his surgery and while it isn't affecting his activity level, his eating, drinking or any other puppy adventures he has, it did affect our sleep Sunday night - we had to walk him twice in the middle of the night. So as soon as the vet's office opened yesterday I called to see what we should do. Finn didn't have to go to the vet's, just me and a bag of poo. I just LOVE driving around with a bag of poo - I always figure that's when I'll have a big wreck and the CSI team will be sorting through the mangled car, picking up bits of the Pink Lemon scattered hither and yon and all the while they'll be wondering about all the poo everywhere:

"I found something here."

"What is it?"

"It looks like poo. There seems to be bits of a small plastic dinosaur in it."

"What kind?"

"I can't tell, the bits are too small, could be a T-Rex."

"Not the dinosaur, the poo."

"Oh, that's definitely some kind of retriever dog. No other animal would put this much junk in its mouth."

"There's no sign of a dog anywhere."

"Send out an APB on a lost, possibly injured retriever with diarrhea - it might be a witness."

Yes, in my imagination, I get a CSI team (the original CSI team, please - Catherine Willoughs in charge - hey its my imagination, I get to pick the team). Of course I do always drive with the poo in the trunk of the car, so hopefully it won't get everywhere in a catastrophic wreck. Anyway, the poo and I made it safely to the vet's and Finn doesn't have anything wrong with his poo, his body is probably just reacting to the stress of surgery this way. (I really don't think the dinosaur bits would have made him sick, this isn't his first plastic snack.) So now he's on a fancy, bland canned food and some doggy diarrhea medicine and he's doing much better. We all slept last night, all night, except for the part of the night that Ramius had something REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT AND NO, IT CAN'T WAIT, MEOW! Thanks Ramius!

As you can see, we put up the Christmas tree last night (yeah its fake, its prelit and we love it!), so over the next couple of days I'll be doing all the Christmas decorating and today I'll be demonstrating spinning to Caleb's Kindergarten class, so I'm not sure how much I'll get done on Mindy's stole today, which is why I'll update on that Thursday. I will give you this though as a teaser: its hard to chart a "random" scatter of cherry blossoms so that they look like they are blowing in the wind.

Friday, December 01, 2006

A Very Slow Sock

I started this sock back in October, when the trees actually looked like this. I haven't even finished the heel flap, and its December! I seem to vaguely remember a time when I could finish a pair of socks in 4 days. For the most part, I'm knitting on Mindy's Stole and spinning the Corriedale you saw yesterday, so Mr. Sock is being ignored, but I know I need to get this pair finished because Fall is gone and I'm wanting to knit socks of other colors.

Since Winter has come to many parts of the country (we won't discuss the mid 70's and humidity we had here yesterday - it was yucky), and we all know what the cold, dry air can do to our skin, I'll share my body scrub recipe again. Take 2 parts brown sugar and 1 part olive oil and stir together. Add a little ground ginger if you want to really wake up your skin. Mix it all together. Get nekkid and hop in the shower with the water off (scrubbing in the shower makes clean up easy). Now grab some of the scrub and rub it gently into your skin starting at your ankles and working your way up your legs, making sure to get your knees really well. Then do your arms from the hands up, finally do your torso, front and back working towards your heart, but be careful of the more delicate skin on your upper chest and neck. Finally, scrub your feet (doing your feet last makes you less likely to slip, but be careful - they'll be oily when you're done) - really go to town on any calluses or rough spots. Then, turn on the water and rinse it all off. If your skin still feels too oily, you can soap up gently and it won't wash all of the moisturizing goodness off. Pat dry and enjoy your gorgeous smooth skin all day! I like to do this two or three times a week during the Winter. You don't want to scrub right before bed - it gets your blood flowing really well and you'll have trouble falling asleep.

For keeping my hands soft over the Winter, my favorite products are the Crabtree and Evelyn Hand Recovery (a scrub) and Hand Therapy (a thick cream that soaks in quickly). They package them together in a set. They make the sets in several scents, but I think the Gardener's set is the most heavy duty. This is also great for using before you spin silk or angora that might catch on rough spots on your hands.