Since you mentioned that you are open to buying needles, I would check out the Knit Picks website. I prefer to knit hats on 16" circulars and finish the crowns with DPNs. The KP's fixed circulars are very reasonably priced. They also have some inexpensive yarns. I would stay away from any alpaca or alpaca blend. Personally, I find them itchy (others do not).
Maybe Cotlin (cotton linen blend) or Swish (superwash merino)?