Note: Voting for the 2011 Knitting Readers' Choice Awards is now closed. Please check back on March 15 to learn about the winners, and check out more about the finalists below.
Both the Addi Turbo and Addi Lace needles got a lot of nominations, but the Turbo version of these popular German knitting needles alone made it into the finals. It's easy to see why if you've ever knit with them.
The nickel-plated brass tips are smooth, light and easy to use; some knitters even say they knit faster using Addis than other needles. They're made to exact metric measurements (a more accurate standard than American measurements).
Hiya Hiya needles come in both bamboo and stainless steel varieties, but nominators who voiced a preference seemed to prefer the bamboo needles.
In both categories Hiya Hiya produces both circular and double-pointed knitting needles; they also make stainless steel interchangeable circular knitting needles. The needles were developed by a Chinese family business; an American company takes care of its dealings here.
Knit Picks Harmony
The Knit Picks Options Harmony interchangeable knitting needle set is a very popular choice for knitters who want a whole set of customizable needles for a good price.
The laminated birch wood needles are beautiful, thanks to waves of color on the needles, and the tapered points make them easy to use with a variety of knitting yarns. Knitters who like wooden needles will find a lot to appreciate with the Harmony needles.
Knit Picks Options
Many knitters who nominated their favorite needles specified that they preferred the Harmony needles, but others said they liked the original nickel-plated Options needles better, and both were so popular they ended up being finalists for Best Knitting Needles.
The metal options are cool, smooth and nice to knit with for people who like metal needles, and the interchangeable knitting needle set is a great value (these needles, as well as the Harmony needles, are also available as individual interchangeable needles, fixed circular needles and double-pointed needles).
Signature Needle Arts
The creme de la creme of knitting needles is the needles produced by Signature Needle Arts. These needles were particularly popular among the sock knitters among the nominators. The company offers a wide variety of needles, including straights, double-pointed needles and circular needles.
The company also makes needles with different points -- blunt, middy or stiletto -- to suit different knitters' preferences or projects. The needles are handmade in America to exacting standards -- a true luxury product.