Still knitting with your grandmother's aluminum needles? Toss them out..you don't know what you're missing!
For a pleasurable knitting experience, try Swallow Casein knitting needles.
Made of casein, the protein found in cow's milk, these needles are made in Australia. Crystal Palace Yarns is the U.S. distributor. They are available retail from Straw Into Gold.
Swallows are light and flexible..so light, you can barely feel them in your hands. They are also extremely well balanced; the tops aren't heavier than the rest of the needle. Weight and imbalance both contribute to fatigue and soreness during long periods of knitting. Moreover, they're warm to the touch which is wonderful for arthritic hands.
They are static resistant so yarn doesn't stick to the needles; even boucle slides across almost effortlessly. I knit up swatches with a number of different yarns and never had difficulty with the yarn sticking.
And the colors are awesome! A tortoise shell look is available in some sizes while others come in a choice of opalescent pearl colors, both light and dark to contrast with your yarn.
The points are shorter than other needles I own. This may help you to keep to gauge better as the stitch travels a shorter distance before it reaches the main body of the needle. It also means less finger movement by the knitter, again decreasing the fatigue factor.
Swallows are marked in metric only. They are available in a wide variety of sizes in 9, 12 and 14 inch lengths for single points. Double points are sold as sets of five in 7 and 9 inch lengths. They are not available as circular needles as the casein is too soft to hold the cable.
Try a pair of 9" single points if you knit smaller projects such as doll clothes and dishcloths.