Thanks for the update. I'm so glad your project isn't ruined. I hope you can return them. You said you got them at Hobby Lobby, I've never been there because there isn't one near me but I think they have a good reputation and since the needles are defective a return shouldn't be an issue.
Cheating is an option. . . . Cheaters never win and winners never cheat, but smart knitters who want to retain an iota of sanity do, cheerfully. ~~Kory Stamper