I said flat ended needles work, and work faster, and are easier to make.
A bunch of folk screamed!
Did any of them get out their knitting sheaths and knit a few objects with gansey yarn and flat ended needles before they screamed? Are the screamers folks that have made and used many knitting sheaths? Are the screamers folks that have made many of their own needles? Are the screamers folks that can knit a very serviceable seaman's kit (hat, socks, sweater, mittens) in 6 weeks?
Anybody that has made steel needles by hand, knows that the description of making a needle in Rural England is problematic. It takes a while to grind a nice taper point on a whet stone. Grind stones are faster, but he was using a stone in the walk. On the other side, that description works very well if he was grinding a flat end on a needle.
And, flat ended wooden needles work so much better with a knitting sheath that flat ended needles might very well revise my views toward wooden needles I have not tried it yet, but I suspect that flat ended needles would resolve some of my objections toward bone knitting needles.
In any case, flat ended needles are faster and easier to make with hand tools than tapered tip needles. What is required is a knitting sheath and a different technique. And that different knitting technique requires less flex of the needles making it more practical for bronze and brass needles.
Visualize: you have the flat end of the needle against the shaft of the needle, and slide the edge of the end of the needle into the working stitch. It works and it is fast.
Thus, if you know about knitting sheaths; and, if you need to knit fast; you use flat ended needles. They knew about knitting sheaths and they had a need to knit fast. The only people that would object are folks that do not understand knitting sheath techniques.
The other thing it means is that any dowel or rod in the archaeological record may have been a knitting needle (depending on wear marks) and not only those with neat tapered tips.