As you might know, we have had the opportunity to work with several different sponsors for BiCrafty Boot Camp: Knitting Lessons for Crocheters. Last month, the Marly Bird team worked with ChiaoGoo knitting needles. Everyone likes different features in their knitting needles, of course. However, we thought it might be helpful to you to share what we liked most about the ChiaoGoo knitting needles that we each used. We’ll also share some of their other options.
Types of ChiaoGoo Knitting Needles
As we discussed in our Ultimate Guide to Knitting Needles, there are different types of knitting needles. There are single point, double-point, fixed circular, and interchangeable needles. Moreover, your knitting needles might be made of steel, wood, plastic or some other material. And there are variations in the length of the needle as well as the length of the cable. Some companies make just a select few options whereas other companies have a diverse range among these choices. ChiaoGoo is a company that offers a wide range.
Marly Bird Team’s ChiaoGoo Knitting Needles
As we discussed in our Month One BiCrafty Boot Camp review, we all used size 8 5 mm knitting needles for our projects. However, we worked with different options for that size. Kathryn worked first with the 5″ interchangeable circular metal needles. Then she decided to try out the ChiaoGoo 9″ straight bamboo needles.
Cryssi started off working with 22″ circular ChiaoGoo Bamboo Spin needles then she switched to the 22″ circular ChiaoGoo Twist needles. What we might have failed to clarify in earlier posts is that SPIN is the name for their bamboo needles whereas TWIST is the name for their metal needles. So, basically, Cryssi started off with their bamboo interchangeables and moved to their metal ones.
Here’s What We Loved About These ChiaoGoo Knitting Needles
Kathryn discovered that she really likes working with straight needles, which differs from what a lot of knitters will say. She likes the heft and length of the 9″ single points from ChiaoGoo. And she loves that bamboo material.
Both crafters liked the bamboo over the metal as beginners. It slows the knitting down enough to be able to learn the basics. Marly has trouble with bamboo needles these days because she’s such a fast, experienced knitters. She doesn’t want to be slowed down! So it’s important to remember that each needle has facets that are best for certain skills.
Crysssi did really enjoy the click of the metal needs once she switched over the ChiaoGoo TWIST. And Kathryn expects to also like those metal needles once she gets more accustomed to working with knitting needles in general,
KEY TIP: USE YOUR TIGHTENING TOOL FOR INTERCHANGEABLES
As newbie knitters, both Cryssi and Kathryn learned something really important about working with interchangeable knitting needles. When you worked with fixed circular needles (which neither of them did but do note that ChiaoGoo offers them!) the cable is attached to the needle. However, with interchangeables, you can unscrew the needles from the cable and screw them to a longer cable. Both Kathryn and Cryssi found that the needles were unscrewing themselves as they worked, falling apart in the work. It was never a huge issue but it was inconvenient. Kathryn thought it was because she twists her needles a lot as she’s learning to knit. But then they mentioned it to Marly and she explained that there’s a tightening tool used exactly for this purpose. She showed the team how to use this and it was a total game changer. No more problems.
ChiaoGoo Knitting Needles Parts and Pieces
In fact, ChiaoGoo sent us a guide to the TWIST / SPIN Parts and Pieces that explained this to us as well. It notes that the T-shaped keys are exactly for the purpose of tightening up that connection tight. The other features it mentions:
You can screw these on to the ends of your cables to hold a current project in place on the cables if you want to use the needles for a different project. As newbies, it’s not recommended that you stop in the middle of a project like this because it can get confusing. But it’s good to know that ChiaoGoo offers options for being able to set your knitting down and come back to it later.
You can add these to your cables then join other cables to them in order to make longer cables. In other words, you don’t need some gigantic long cable in order to knit, say, an afghan. You can use the cables that you already have for your interchangeables, sticking them together using the ChiaoGoo cable connectors.
Features On Needles and Cables
There are also a few features right on the ChiaoGoo Knitting Needles and cables worth noting:
- You will see an S or an L on your ChiaoGoo parts. S parts go with other S parts (typically sized US 2 2.75 mm – US 8 5 mm) and L parts go with other L parts. So, for example, if you notice that your cable doesn’t fit into your needle, check to see if one is S and the other L.
- The metal end on each of your cables has a small hole drilled into it. This is called the Lifeline Hole. It’s actually the hole where you’d insert the T-shaped key to tighten the cable join as described above. However, you can also use it to insert a lifeline into your project.
Twist and Spin ChiaoGoo Knitting Needle Sizes
We mentioned that we used size 8 5 mm Twist and Spin ChiaoGoo knitting needles. But ChiaoGoo has a whole lot to offer and there are many more details than this to consider. That size 8 5 mm number references the tip size (8 is the US size and the 5 is the mm size). There are two other sizes to consider for ChiaoGoo Twist and Spin knitting needles: Tip Length and Cable Length.
Twist and Spin Tip Length
Both the Twist and Spin (bamboo and metal) ChiaoGoo knitting needles come in different lengths. TWIST comes in shorties (2″ and 3″) as well as 4″ and 5″ tip lengths. SPIN comes in 4″ and 5″ tip lengths. So, for example, Kathryn used the 5″ long size 8 5mm SPIN needles. She could have used a shorter 4″ instead. Depending on your project and your hand size, as well as how you grip your needle, you will have different preferences.
Twist and Spin Cable Lengths
Since these are interchangeable knitting needles, you’ll have cables of different lengths that you can attach to each of the different tip length. There are even different types of cables. ChiaoGoo offers nylon, Red and Blue cables with different features, each in a variety of lengths. The more you delve into the world of knitting, the more you’ll discover which tools are the best for your projects.
ChiaoGoo Single Points and DPNs
As aforementioned, Kathryn discovered she really likes working with straight needles, also called single point needles. ChiaoGoo offers them in five lengths from 7″ – 20″ in bamboo and wood. They also have a couple of special 9″ needles printed with messages: I Love Knitting and Find a Cure with a pink ribbon.
ChiaoGoo also has a whole selection of DPNs. They’re available in both metal and bamboo. And they have entire sets for socks. The Marly Bird team hasn’t had a chance to work with these, yet, but we’re going to learn about DPNs soon!
Final Thoughts About ChiaoGoo Knitting Needles
Overall, we all loved what ChiaoGoo has to offer us. We like the option to choose between different materials and sizes. There is a lot of variety here so there’s something for every new knitter. They also make crochet hooks and Tunisian crochet hooks.
We loved the cases that the sets come in. It made it easy for us to keep all of the knitting supplies organized. You can also buy extras of the pouches along with a lot of other great accessories including rubber grippers, a yarn spindle, stitch markers, and needle and swatch gauges.
And ChiaoGoo sent a lot of supporting materials to help us understand everything we were working with.