Thursday, March 14, 2013

Review: ChiaoGoo interchangeable needles

ChiaoGoo interchangeable needles

Knitting time is at a premium these days, but when I do have time to knit, I've been obsessed with using the ChiaoGoo interchangeables Santa brought me for Christmas. They were at the top of my wishlist, and I have not been disappointed.

I received the small set of ChiaoGoo Twist interchangeables, which includes needle tip sizes 2-8 (yes, size 2 and 3 tips--rare!), 3 cables, a cable connector, end caps, tightening keys, a set of stitch markers, and a needle gauge.

First, I love the case: streamlined, but decorative.

ChiaoGoo interchangeable needles case

Everything fits snugly in this adorable zip case. And if I decide I want to expand my collection, there's even room for additional or duplicate needle tips.

ChiaoGoo interchangeable needles

The needle tips are nice and sharp; I rarely knit lace, but it's nice to know I could!

The case also has several zip pouches for storing the cables and assorted knitting notions. 

What I love about the cables (sized for 24", 32" and 40" diameters) is their sturdiness. They're nylon-coated steel, and made for frequent use. I also appreciate that they coil up tightly, and don't hog too much space in the case.

ChiaoGoo cables

Another essential for interchangeables is a smooth join--you don't want your knitting snagging on a join that doesn't fully close. No problem with that here, you get a nice, tight join that poses no threat.

What I think might be an advantage for these over the Knit Picks interchangeables, which I also use, is that you're screwing the needle tips into the cables, not the other way around. With the screw end on the cables, I think the threads wear down more quickly, as you use the same 2 or 3 cables over and over with different projects (though I will say that Knit Picks has always replaced my broken/worn out cables free of charge). With the screw ends on the needle tips, that wear will be spread out more evenly over various needle sizes.

One last plus for this collection is its size. The full Twist set, sizes 2-15, costs about $150, and includes 6 needle sizes I rarely use. This smaller set runs around $90, and includes the needle sizes I use most. I'm thrilled with their decision to sell smaller sets, so knitters can get the needle sizes they want, and are not forced to spend money on needle sizes that will never see the light of day.

I definitely recommend you check in with your LYS to see if you can snag a set of these interchangeables. If you're an online shopper, you can buy a set from Fiber Wild or Handsome Fibers.


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1 comment :

collegeknitting said...

Wait...Knit Picks will replace them? How did you get that to happen?