Radiator heating + extreme cold + constant handwashing to avoid 'flu = really, really scratchy barbed hands. Yeah, you can slather 'em with petroleum jelly and slip on cotton gloves overnight, but how does that help you now, when you want to knit with that really fine yarn on almost-as-fine needles?
It doesn't, so instead get yourself over to the kitchen counter and scrub some baking soda and water into them. Rinse, dry, and get to work. You're welcome!
In other news, I guess my longtime approach to knitting (see a pattern you like, learn whatever techniques are required to make it, do that, and move on to the next) has some holes in it. I just read last night about the three-needle bind off and it's so brilliant! I can think of lots of applications, the first of which is a purse or a pocket for same. If you, like me, are new to the concept, a very nice girl explains it all here in an astonishing three minutes.