I have just bought a set of Knitpicks Harmony Options interchangeable needles with beautifully dyed and laminated wood that is lacquered for smoothness, and precision joins that are tightened with a little key. The cables are soft and flexible and it all fits into a little bag, which I also put some Harmony matching sock needles (6 in each set, so you could lose 2 and still knit a sock!). There are some screw on stoppers/ends so that you can remove needle tips and leave project on the cables safely.
I noticed ever such slight snagging, on the gap in the join the first time I used them, but then discovered it was my fault as I had been so hasty I had not tightened the join using the key as instructed.
The tips are very pointed instead of blunt and round, and this aids the stitches to slip over the needles with ease. The sharpness, means they will be ideal for lace knitting.
The case is small and portable and has room for the extra over sized needle points that I bought as well as the sock needles and it means when I go away, as long as I pack the right yarns, I will always have the right equipment.
There is only one tiny tiny drawback, and that is if you use a very dark or variegated yarn close to the colour of the laminated wood, it might be difficult to see stitches for beginners. However, most people get used to knitting ‘by touch’ and can watch TV at the same time as knitting so that would not be a problem.
The only other problem is, they are such a beautiful thing to see, I just want to sit and look at them instead of using them. Especially the sock needles, as I can be quite violent with those and I am scared of breaking these beauties. Oh well, just like my clothes, I suppose I might save them for best or holidays!