Wooden knitting needles are quiet. They are aesthetically pleasing, especially the
ones made of exotic woods and those that have beautifully carved ends or painted
decorations. They are warmer than metal needles and generally lighter in weight.
I have some Peace Fleece needles that are made in both Maine and Russia. They
have round tops that are painted in bright colors. I enjoy using them.
I also have some Brittany needles in dark wood with intricately carved tops. These, too,
are a pleasure to use.
A trip to a fine knitting store, or even a search on Ebay, will reveal that wooden
needles are now being made in such exotic materials as ebony and rosewood. There are
also some small companies making wooden needles with fancy tops such as beads and
little animals made of Fimo or ceramics. Your eyes will be happy looking at these, but your
wallet will certainly be lighter!
The only potential negatives that could be said about wooden knitting needles is that they
tend to hold on to the yarn and slow you down, and they frequently have blunter tips than
other knitting needles. Sometimes, with certain yarns or stitches,
that slowing down can actually be a positive factor. For example, if you are knitting with
rayon or some other slippery yarn, you may want to knit slower so as not to drop stitches
or accidentally knit two stitches together. Other times, you might want to use metal,
plastic, or casein needles for speed considerations. Also, sometimes, as when using yarn
made of multiple strands, a blunt tip is just what you need so as not to separate the yarn.