See the difference? I found some old 'nasty' hard, blunt, plastic maybe-Susan-Bates-but-I-can't-be-sure needles--and guess what? They are sliding through like a charm! No splitting. No catching. And they are grey! They even match the socks!!! These socks might actually get done.
I hadn't opened this needle holder in years. Thank goodness when it comes to knitting supplies, I'm really hard pressed to ever throw anything away--and there was my solution! The proverbial right 'tool' for the right project---will work every time.