Welcome to the latest installment of the Knit Luck Guide to Interchangeable Knitting Needles. Since 2012 we've been reviewing each of the sets of interchangeable knitting needles. This time we will be taking a look at the Chiao Goo Interchangeable Knitting Needles. They are some of the most unique sets in one major way: the types of cables they use to connect the interchangeable knitting needles. While most companies focus on the needle tips, Chiao Goo has spent time finding ways to improve upon the connecting cables, resulting in interchangeable knitting needle sets that can be easier on your wrists and require less untangling of needles to get you knitting right away. Learn more as we explore the Chiao Goo Interchangeable Knitting Needles:

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The Chiao Goo Interchangeable Knitting Needle Sets and What They Include:

We are listing a few available sets because there are different sets, with different nuances of options. You have to take some extra time to make sure that you're getting the interchangeable knitting needles you want. Be sure to check that the needle tips are the length you desire, needle point you desire and that the set contains all of the needles you want:

Chiao Goo Twist Lace Tip Complete Set ($113)

  • 13 5" Stainless Steel Needle Tips (sizes 2-15)
  • 3 Red Cables Lengths (24", 32", 40")
  • 2 Cable Connectors
  • 4 End Stoppers
  • 2 Cord Keys
  • Needle Gauge
  • 24 Stitch Markers
  • Carry Case

Chiao Goo Spin Complete Set ($118)

  • 13 5" Bamboo Needle Tips (sizes 2-15)
  • 3 Red Cables Lengths (24", 32", 40")
  • 2 Cable Connectors
  • 4 End Stoppers
  • 2 Cord Keys
  • Needle Gauge
  • 24 Stitch Markers
  • Carry Case

Chaio Goo Spin Small 4" Lace Tip Set ($80)

  • (7) Stainless Steel Needle Tips (Sizes US 2-8)
  • (2) 8" cables (connect them to make a 16")
  • 2 Cord Keys
  • 2 End Stoppers
  • Cable Connector
  • Needle Gauge

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Chiao Goo Twist vs Chiao Goo Spin

The first thing you should know about Chaio Goo Interchangeable Knitting needles is that they come in two brands that are not just named brands for fun, but represent completely different cable types. The Chiao Goo Twist is a plastic-covered wire cable that is heavy and substantial, ensuring that the cable never kinks or coils, making it a little easier to up and start knitting -you don't have to spend any time unkinking your needles. 

The Chiao Goo Spin cables are another story. Where the Twist is thick and weighty, the Spin cables are the opposite, super thin and flexible with a free spinning knitting needle connection. This means that when you knit instead of the cable building up pressure against the action of your knitting and the knitting needles, which puts pressure on your wrists; the cable instead spins within the connected casing of the needle and cable. This takes tremendous pressure off of your wrists. I highly recommend these needles for people who have some wrist soreness when they knit. 

 

Needle Tips

Chiao Goo interchangeable knitting needles tips come in just two different materials: bamboo and stainless steel. It's important to know that the needle tips come in two different types: regular and lace tip. If you care about pointy needle tips, get the lace tip -they have a longer taper and a pointier tip.

The needle tips come in 4" and 5" inch sizes with a contoured cable connection, which makes slipping stitches from the cable to the needle a little smoother. In using these needles I rarely had to go to an extra effort to push the stitches closer to the end of the needles, something I've had to do quite often with other sets.

Cost and other Concerns

chiaogootwistIt can be confusing to purchase a set of Chiao Goo Interchangeable Knitting Needles. They have a few different set configurations. You can buy all the "small" needles in a set for $80 (sizes 2-8), in a case with room for the larger sizes, which you can buy individually (don't forget to also buy the large cables -the large needles will not fit on the small cables). Or, you can buy the complete set at $100, which is a much better value. For just $20 extra you get a complete set. However if cash is an issue and you only use the smaller sizes, then the $80 set would work just fine for many knitters. 

The complete sets offer quite a range of needle tips and go all the way up to size 15. Clover, which previously held the title for having the largest ranges of needle sizes only goes from size 3 to size 15. It's Chiao Goo's innovation with the needle connectors and thinner cable cords that has allowed them to expand their interchangeable knitting needle size all the way down to 2 and all the way up to 15. That said, the Clover set is less expensive, but at least when you spend the extra money with Chiao Goo you end up with a consistency of one whole set of interchangeable knitting needles. 

Be sure to check carefully when you purchase. Be sure you know which needle tip length you want (4 inch vs 5 inch) and whether you want the complete set or a smaller set. Be sure to read the product description carefully when you buy so that you don't end up with needles you won't use, or a needle tip length that will bother you.

How to Change Out the Chiao Goo Needle Tips

Like most interchangeable knitting needle sets, the Chiao Goo interchangeable knitting needles allow you to change out needle tips using a simple key and screw technique. Each needle tip fits onto the cable with machined screws, which you tighten using a key that allows you to use enough leverage to ensure that the needle is screwed in tightly to the cable. 

Things you should know about Chiao Goo Interchangeable Knitting Needles

Each set comes as eaither large or small sizes. This means that the cables also come in small and large sizes. This enables Chiao Goo to make sets in a much great range of knitting needle sizes. Unfortunately this means that you have to be a little more focused when ordering individual tips or cables for your set. When we purchased these to test, we ended up getting small needle tips for large cables, which was a little annoying, but more than anything gave us an excuse to purchase more cables and tips to try to get the full view of what this set is like. 

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How We Tested the Chiao Goo Interchangeable Knitting Needles

As we do for nearly every set of interchangeable knitting needles we busted out some Crystal Palace Cotton Chenille yarn and knit yet another flower washcloth. We choose this pattern over and over again for consistency and because cotton chenille yarn can be tricky to knit. Cotton Chenille has a tendency to worm, and it can be difficult to cleanly insert needles into stitches, especially when decreasing or increasing. This yarn allows us to see how well stitches flow over every part of the needle: the cable, the cable connection and the needle tip.

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The Results

I found the Chiao Goo Interchangeable Knitting Needles to work very well, even with the larger 5" needle tips. I've found in the past that longer needle tips put more pressure on my wrists, but I didn't experience that with the Chiao Goo. The stitches flowed smoothly over each part of the needle and I had to use less pressure pushing stitches over the needles connections than I have with other needles. I also noticed spending much less time untangling the needles/cord whenever I went to knit the washcloth after putting it down. My only complaint about these needles is that the regular needle points are not the sharpest on the market, they are a little bit on the dull side. Some people prefer that, I didn't find that it hindered my knitting, but you might want to check out the Chiao Goo Lace needle tips if needle pointyness is a concern for you.

Overall I find the Chiao Goo Interchangeable Knitting Needles to be well worth the cost. I've used the stainless steel, the bamboo and have even used a size 10 to test out some skeino yarn and these products have all been reliable and fun to use. My most favorite part is that once the needles were tightened with the key I never had the needles unscrew while I was knitting. Seeing as that is the number one problem for interchangeable knitting needles, it shows me that these are worth trying for sure. 

Do you like Chiao Goo Interchangeable Knitting Needles? Tell us about it in the comments.

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