ChiaoGoo has a couple of "Shorties" interchangeable needle sets on the market now and we've sold quite a few of them. If you really don't like double points or magic loop methods for small circumference work in the round (think socks, mittens, or sleeves), you might want to give these a try. We have the sets (yes, they are very cute).
We also have fixed 9" needles up to size 8 if you'd like to try before investing in the full set....
At one of our November Saturday mornings, Shannon was raving about the little 9" needle for sweater sleeves, then Cindy jumped on the bandwagon and couldn't stop praising them! Sue gave the little needle a try to finish out the Cloisonée Mitten pair that she'd started as a class demo. So the first one had been knit using Magic Loop; second one knit with the 9" ChiaoGoo needle. For me, it felt a little awkward because the needle tips are really short and I'm not sure it was any faster than Magic Loop method used on the first mitten. But I was not expecting to feel a difference in the fabric made with the short needle: it was a lot smoother feeling than the other mitten, with stitches looking noticeably more even before blocking. Can you see it in the picture???
Linda also tried the shortie needle on her way to Australia and reported that she thought it was nice for an inch or so (no fussing with DPNs or Magic Loop for the join!) but she switched to Prym DPNs for the longer needle comfort.
Today's knitters are lucky we have a variety of options for small circumference knitting. Some projects may be better suited for a certain needle, and some of us have very strong opinions about our favorite method. We could have a good long discussion about it sometime - but not today! You are always welcome to sit and try any of our needles in shop. Happy Knitting Vibes to you all!