I don't think that you are overreacting, but maybe you could buy him a set of his own needles and then he would have some to play with if he feels that he really needs to. Just a thought.
On the Needles: Calla Tank (Magknits.com) and a baby blanket for my co-worker
Next on the Needles: My own design!!!
Check out my blog: http://seetrishknit.blogspot.com/
My geek code: KE++C+ Exp SPM+ Den++ Steel (+) Addi>+ Syn++ Nov Cot+ Wool> Lux> Hemp? Stash++ Scale++ Fin Ent? FI> Int> Tex> Lace? Felt? Flat Circ+ DPN> Swatch-- KIP SNB> EZ? FO7 WIP1 Guage B+ Cr+ Sw+++ Sp>