A few weeks ago I placed an order with Knit Picks. I was feeling a little flush with cash and I bought a set of Harmony Wood Double Pointed Needles (DPNs). Before this I had bought cheap bamboo DPNs, metal ones, stupidly expensive wooden ones from Blue Sky Alpacas and Sock Stixx. I prefer 5" or 6" needles for knitting socks and mittens as the longer needles feel awkward and cumbersome.
Now I'm no Yarn Harlot or Cookie A, banging out socks in my sleep. I don't always have a sock going (though I should). I do enjoy making them however and I'm the type of person who believes the materials and tools used to make something are as important as the item itself. I buy real vanilla and good chocolate and use my stand mixer for baking a cake, the same goes into my knitting.
When I was buying some yarn at Knit Picks I decided to treat myself to a set of Harmony 5" wood DPNs. My friends at Stitch and Bitch have some and they seemed nice. The set I bought includes 6 sizes of needles from 2 mm to 3.25 mm with every .25 mm difference. A drawback is that needles aren't marked at all so when my two year old dumped all my needles on the floor I quickly realized I should have bought the needle sizer as mine don't have all the incremental sizes represented. As for the needles they are wonderful. Firm, not bendy but not as hard as metal. The finish is super smooth and slick, which I think more than makes up for not being marked with their sizes. I hate that snagging feeling when the yarn catches on a needle. The needles have some weight to them too, not that they're heavy but they feel like they have some substance to them unlike some bamboo needles that feel like they're going to snap in half if you look at them funny. However, if one did break or you lost it each size comes with 6! needles. This is huge for me because I often lose things, especially small things which will be a whole other post someday cause it's practically comical.
Lastly we have come to the points. These are pointy needles. Not impale your hand as you reach into your bag pointy, not purl5 together through the back loop (not that I have tried that) pointy, but perfectly pointy for socks. The pointy tips combined with the slickness of the wood make decreasing, increasing and casting on much easier than with grabby bamboo.
-*+There's one thing about ordering from Knit Picks, shipping is expensive. Unless you spend $50 and then it's free. When I went to buy the $3 needle sizer I needed I asked my knitter friends if they wanted anything so I wouldn't have to pay for shipping. In an hour they were past $70. So great for me right? $3 and I'm done. Well yarn shopping never works out so easy! I'm now in possession of 6 new balls of yarn, a needle sizer and some bobbin thingies for color work. Even through a computer screen wool fumes knock the sense out of me every time! PS image taken directly from the knit picks website.