Knit Picks is know for its great line of inexpensive interchangeable knitting needles. From the original nickel-plated Options to the beautiful laminated wood, multicolored Harmony, these needles have lots of fans among knitters who like interchangeables. (The only one I haven't completely loved is the Zephyr, but I only had one pair of them and I broke one so I haven't had a lot of experience knitting with them.)
Sunstruck takes the same base wood as Harmony and adds a plain blond finish rather than the multicolored design of the Harmony, and produces a needle with a similar knitting experience.
Just like the Harmony needles, Sunstruck needles are lightweight, smooth and comfortable to use. The laminated birch is warm to the touch, and the light color of the needle makes it easy to see your stitches no matter what you're working on.
I used the needles to stitch up a quick swatch of Garter Stitch, and the knitting flew by with ease. It's probably my imagination, but these needles felt a big lighter than the Harmony needles; they definitely won't weigh you down or slow you down as you work.
The tips are tapered but not sharp, making them good for all but the fiddliest lace knitting. Like all Knit Picks interchangeables, they have metal ends that screw into the cables, which are sturdy but flexible. The joins are smooth, and though I occasionally have problems with the joins loosening up on other Knit Picks needles, I didn't experience that in my test knit with these (probably because they were put together by a professional).
Sunstruck is available as a set of interchangeable needles, or you can buy pieces individually. The set includes nine sizes of needles, from US 4 to 11 (3.5 mm to 8 mm), two each of 24 and 32 inch cables, eight end caps and two cable keys, in a zippered clear vinyl case and with a separate vinyl case for the cables (a nice touch that wasn't available when I bought my Harmony set).
Individual pairs of tips are available in all the sizes found in the set, as well as US 10.75 (7 mm), 13, 15 and 17 (9, 10 and 12 mm, respectively).
The fixed circulars run from US 0 (2 mm) to 11 (8 mm) and include some sizes you don't always see (2.5 and 3 mm as well as the 7 mm). All sizes are available with 16 inch cables; as of this writing sizes 0 through 3 were the only ones available in lengths of 24, 32, 40 and 47 inches.
Straight needles are available in sizes US 4 through 17 and in 10 and 14 inch lengths. Sets with eight pairs in either length are also available.
I'm not sure if Sunstruck needles are an absolutely essential addition to your knitting bag, but I think they are to mine. These needles are lovely to look at and to use, and I love interchangeable knitting needles for the convenience of always having the right needle size when you need it (if you can find it, anyway!). I do wish they went down to size 3, though, because I don't seem to own a single size 3 circular and always get annoyed when I'm trying to find one!
These needles, of course, would also be a great gift for the knitter in your life who likes wooden needles. She's sure to appreciate both the beauty and the ease of working with these lovelies.