Some time in spring or early summer last year, I placed a large order for HiyaHiya circulars. This is hands-down my favourite brand and fixed circs are hands-down my favourite needles -- I like things simple and have always found interchangeable tips too annoying to use. Last year I bought a whole bunch of 100cm circs, but while I was about it I also got some of the 9-inch circs that seemed to be trendy at the time for knitting socks.
I never got to use them last year because by the time I arrived I had a lovely case of tendinitis in both thumbs, a combination of work stress and frenetic knitting in the evenings because the work stress was leaving me too brain-dead at night to do anything else. I only started knitting again a couple of weeks or so ago; tendinitis takes its sweet time to heal and after I'd shaken it off I was once again too busy at work to have enough free brain-space to plan a new knitting project. So it wasn't until now that I was able to try out those nine-inch circs.
Bad mistake. Holy cow, those things are the worst idea EVER. My first project after the long knitting hiatus was a simple little pair of Fibonacci-themed running socks:
Which is to say, I designed them to match the colours of my winter running gear and I made the ankles shorter than I usually do because one doesn't necessarily want a very long woollen sock when one's working up a sweat on the roads. And I think the short shaft is the only reason I don't have tendinitis all over again. Or maybe I do have it again, given how my thumbs feel. Those nine-inchers are unbelievably hard on the hands because there's nothing to hold on to! Aside from feeling incredibly awkward even after doing most of a pair of socks, and making it pretty tricky to knit to one's usual tension, they force your fingers into such an un-ergonomic position that using them takes all the fun out of knitting at best and could be a recipe for RSI at worst. I promised myself I'd finish knitting the pair before passing judgement on the nine-inch circs, and I did, but I think I should have packed it in halfway down the first sock and switched to a 100cm set and Magic Loop. My thumb tendons are suspiciously achy again after being *completely* healed for the last nine months or so and I can only hope I haven't set myself up for another half a year of battling tendinitis while trying to work a job that requires lots of typing. Ugh!
One thing's for certain, I'm never using those nine-inchers again to knit as much as a single stitch, it just isn't worth it. From now on I'm using them only to secure held stitches on glove projects when the time comes to knit the fingers. Which is the main reason I bought them in the first place, so that's all right.