I know this opinion isn’t too popular but I quite like my double points. They can knit so many interesting things, and once you have tamed the porcupine and found your prefered method of holding the 3 or 4 needles at once, it’s really a breeze. The beauty is that they are so versatile. Depending on the length of your dpn’s you can make a whole hat with no need for circulars all. You can also knit the very smallest possible items with ease on dpn’s, like toys, or socks, or sweater sleaves in the round. There are those out there, however, who can’t stand double points at all! They hate the porcupine of 3 needles or more and would much rather suffer through the cord tangles of magic loop. To each their own!
The down side to double points is that you can really only knit items that are smaller in circumference. For sweater bodies, for example, you will need larger circulars so double points often duplicate needle sizes you might already have. This isn’t so bad once you have accumulated some needles but it can be a bit of a pain to need 2 sets of needles for a hat.
The benefits of dpn’s are that they are, as I said, versatile in knitting the little things. Aside from magic loop, there is really no way to knit the tippy top of a hat or tiny little toy parts. Dpn’s come in several different materials including, metal, bamboo, and rosewood or ebony. Personally, I love the warmth of the wood and prefer the strong ebony or rosewood, they are more expensive but in the smaller sizes (3mm and under) they are much less likely to bend under the pressure. Bamboo are a nice price vs. material compromise. Metal needles are often the least expensive (Aero’s) and some people would rather the cool feel of metal needles. When I’m in the mood for a treat, I LOVE the Blue Sky Alpaca rosewood double points. Cute tin and all!