I couldn't help myself, when I saw that Knitpicks had new wooden needles I just had to try some. I ordered the 6" dpn set and sizes 4-7 of the circular tips that will fit the interchangeable Options cables. I haven't had a chance to test drive the circulars, so let's talk double-pointed.The first thing you notice with these needles is the color. They're made from laminated birch wood, and each layer is a different color. Unlike the longer 8" dpns and the circular needles, the colors in the smaller sizes run lengthwise. What this means is that you pretty much only see one color, depending on how you're holding the needle. Keep this in mind if you think you might find swirly colors distracting. To my eyes, the multi-hues are not that distinct, and the needles 'read' as a medium/dark wood. What do I like about them? Let's start with the point -- these are nicely tapered, pointed enough for lacy stitch maneuvers, but not so sharp that you'll worry constantly about impaling a finger. Here's a photo of the Harmony dpn and one of my Crystal Palace bamboos:
The finish is smooth, but still has some drag -- you'll get speed, but no worries about stitches escaping off the needles. I personally like a shorter dpn, so the 6" length is good for me. Those of you who prefer something longer will not find it in the smaller sizes -- only sizes 4-11 are available in 8" lengths (and only that length).Needles in the set come in metric sizes 2mm, 2.25, 2.5, 2.75, 3.0 and 3.25mm -- a nice range that should make fine tuning gauge that much easier. For those who only speak "American", the sizes in the set range from 0 - 3, with size 1 and 2 having two different metric equivalents. (And why are we still dragging our feet over the metric system? Are we really too freakin' dumb to learn what little primary school children the world over have apparently very little trouble learning?) Oops, was that out loud? Sorry, that's a rant for another day. OK, focus... There are 6 needles for each size, which will be handy when one invariably goes walkabout -- and at $6.79US (for the smaller sizes) that's a very attractive price indeed. Compare to $8.50US I last spent for Crystal Palace bamboo, my usual needle. In short, I found much to like and (so far) nothing to dislike about the Harmony dpns. Others may take issue with their length or color, but to me they're fine. I doubt I'll invest in the larger sizes. I don't use them that often, and I already have most sizes in other materials/brands. One thing that may prove annoying is that there is no size imprint on the needles. Now, I store my dpns in separate pouches by metric sizing, so not much of an issue for me.
And, in truth, I'm always annoyed by how yarn catches on the size markings on needles that have the size pressed into the needles a la Brittany. Most of my bamboo needles are inked with their size, but of course with use that can fade or rub off. Others may not like the lack of size imprint though. As always, your mileage may vary, but if your needle requirements mesh with what Harmony needles offer I think they're well worth a look.