I've been knitting with very different sorts of needles lately. For the mittens and socks, it's been Brittany birch, Hiya Hiya stainless steel, and Chia Goo bamboo, and I'm still not sure which ones I like best.
The Brittany needles are bliss, really. Lightweight, smooth, a nice length. There's just the teeniest drag as the stitches shift along which I'll need for anything terribly slippery, but is ever so slightly annoying when working with my yummy robust mitten yarn from A Piece of Vermont.
The Hiya Hiyas are positioned as a rival to Addi needles and are just as slick and luxurious to use at half the price. I love them for the first 184 stitches no matter how many slip off and then - I don't know what it is - the skin on my hands starts to tingle as though I'm getting some sort of energy from the steel and Not In A Good Way. That doesn't happen with my Addi Clicks.
I have a larger size of Chia Goos and love their smoothness and sharp tips, but in sock size I'm finding those tips are actually splitting my lovely fingering yarn. Also one of the needles has more drag than the others owing to the way it's been stamped with the size information. On the upside, when you go along to keep somebody company during a scary MRI exam, it's nice to find you've brought along the sock you're making on bamboo needles rather than the steel ones (and that you've left enough of a cast-on tail to fashion a last-minute yarny substitute stitch marker.)
I'm also pretty torn about the needles I'm using for stripy portion of The Adventure Sweater.
I needed a particular size and a particular length and the only ones in my cache of needles were these green vintage plastic ones that were warped long before I got my hands on them:
They're smooth enough and the tips aren't too sharp, but they're still splitting my gorgeous stripy fingering from The Black Lamb and the warping is bugging me already even though the sweater weighs next to nothing at this point.
H'mmm. Perhaps I need to make more needle investments. Just for research purposes, of course.