In the 80's, I was at the height of my Avid Knitting Phase. I had collected a vast array of knitting tools - circular needles, straight needles, double pointed needles, measuring tapes, devices to wind yarn and measure gauge. Without a trip to the knitting store I could invariably lay my hands on whatever size needle in whatever form I needed and go to work on a new project.
Then came a move to Boulder, Colorado, graduate school, a new relationship, all quickly followed by more moves, opening up my pottery studio, yada yada yada...with the result that knitting needles and various other tools got left behind, sometimes one at a time, leaving me with a set of two or three #9 double pointed needles, sometimes en masse, leaving me without a single 24" #8 circular needle.
It is now several years later. The Best Beloved and I have bought a house, we are more or less settled down with the two dogs, cat, and tank of fish. I find myself, somewhat pleasantly surprised, re-entering another Avid Knitting Phase, but without the tools at hand that I've previously had (I still have warm memories of a set of light blue Susan Bates #9 plastic douple pointed knitting needles - where are they? In a box somewhere? Lodged behind a car seat cushion? Hard to say.)
So, I have splurged: I finally bought myself the Denise interchangeable Knitting Needle Kit, and am VERY happy with it. There seem to be two knitting needle kits on the market, Denise and the Boye Needlemaster. Both were designed by Lorraine and Robert Linstead, but after first designing the Boye, they cotinued to make improvements and developed the Denise kit. It's a bit of an initial investment, but it worth it. It's so nice to have all those needles in one place, at hand when I need them. I've had no problem with the needles coming apart. I was most worried about how the yarn would move over the part where the needles connect to the cord, but it hasn't been a problem at all - it's all smooth sailing!
The only challenge now is remembering to keep the kit out of reach of the chewy two year old Tibetan Mastiff!!!