I have quickly learnt that I hate metal needles (even Addi turbos!!!!!!) but love wood. For socks my 5" Brittany birch needles are really neat & often used but they are expensive, so to expand my needle collection I have found a e-bay seller who sells sets of 5 double pointed needles made from wood. They are really smooth to use and only around £2 per set. The sellers ebay identity is "cyclingjimbob". Delivery is quick & you can usually choose from different lengths. I also dislike sewing up some I think I am sticking to things that can be knitted on 4 or 5 pointy sticks or circular needles. My two knitting presents to myself(!) (The Amazon wish list wasn't fully effective with him indoors) were Folk Socks & Knitting without Tears. All of the reviews and ravings about Elizabeth Zimmerman didn't disappoint when I got the book, but the proof will be in the knitting! Not sure what will grow on the needles but at the moment I am sticking to smaller knits..... hats for next months ski trip to Les Contamines in France & more socks! The folk socks book has some great designs, some out of my leauge but the alpine chalet socks or maybe the Latvian socks could happen soon. I like to knit in the car (not whilst I am driving!) which adds to the inches as I sit in the back like Madame Guillotine whilst my 17 year old son practices for his driving test & takes us to his rugby matches, but its not conducive to really complex patterns!