Chiaogoo 4" Interchangeable Small Knitting Needle Set Favorite Gear: Chiaogoo Interchangeable Knitting Needles

Favorite Gear: Chiaogoo Interchangeable Knitting Needles

In one post or another, you may have seen me tout how wonderful my Chiaogoo Interchangeable knitting needles are. In case you haven’t, consider this post my official rave review of Chiaogoo needles.

The Boye Knitting Needle Cable Hack

I stumbled onto Chiaogoo needles by accident. I had an interchangeable knitting needle set sold by Hobby Lobby’s Yarnology brand. The tips were fine, but the cables were an endless nuisance that made knitting in the round difficult. After some research, I figured out that the Yarnology set was basically a Boye Interchangeable knitting needle set. As the internet exposes time and time again, there is nothing new under the sun. Others had the same complaints about the cables that I did. Thankfully, the knitters who came before me had also found a solution.

The Chiaogoo Twist cable connectors perfectly fit into the threads of the Yarnology/Boye tips, allowing you to connect the flexible, no-memory Chiaogoo Twist cables onto the set. I knit with the combined Yarnology/Boye tips and Chiaogoo cables for most of 2018. If you want to try this hack, I make no guarantees as it could be a different Yarnology/Boye set than what I and prior pioneers have. But if you’re ordering from a website with free returns (Amazon), it’s worth a shot.

Researching the Best Sharp Knitting Needles

By Christmas 2018, I was eyeing a set of Chiaogoo interchangeable tips. But before I committed to a purchase, I did some research.

I am a tight knitter. One of my greatest frustrations has always been the simple act of being able to slip into stitches like k2tog. It’s hard with a blunt tip! Sharp tips were criteria #1.

Criteria #2 was  smooth joins. My Chiaogoo cable hack was great, but the cable joins still weren’t perfect.

Sources indicated that if you want sharp tips and smooth joins, brands like Hiya Hiya and Chiaogoo were two of the favorites. Other brands like Addi and Knitters Pride were always honorable mentions. I already had plenty of Chiaogoo cables; it was a no brainer to select Chiaogoo over Hiya Hiya for this simple reason of familiarity.

I bought a Chiaogoo Red Lace circular needle to try out first, just to make sure I liked the tips. It was some of the smoothest knitting I’d ever experienced so I pulled the trigger on the small set of Chiaogoo Red Lace Twist Interchangeable Knitting needles.

Purchasing Chiaogoo Twist Knitting Needle Sets

If you search for Chiaogoo sets on Amazon, the differences between each set can be hard to sort and identify.

The sets are either small, large or complete. The small set includes sizes 2-8, the small cables, case, etc. The large set includes sizes 9-15, the large cables, case, etc. The complete set includes everything in the prior two sets. The most important thing to note is that the small vs large sizes have different size connectors on the cables. They are NOT universal.

The other difference you will see between sets is the needle length. They are sold in 4″ lengths and 5″ lengths, both having their pros and cons. Many people prefer the larger Chiaogoo 5″ interchangeable tips because it gives you more room for stitches on the tips. A unique feature of the Chiaogoo 4″ interchangeable tips is that on a 8″ cable you get a 16″ circumference perfect for knitting hats. I have smaller hands so I chose the 4″ tip size and I do not regret it.

If you don’t do a lot of knitting with chunky yarns, you can get away with buying just the small set. I bought the small and contintue to use my Yarnology/Boye tips for the occasional project requiring a size 9 or larger.  However, I started encountering more projects requiring a size 9 needle and bought an Chiaogoo size 9 interchangeable tip. Because of the differing cable connector size, I had to figure out how to use it with my small cables!

Thankfully, Chiaogoo has an adapter to convert the larger needle tip connector to a smaller cable. It is called a Chiaogoo L-S Adapter, sold in packs of two.

For Bamboo Lovers: Chiaogoo Spin Knitting Needles

You may be looking at these sets saying “Oh, but I hate metal needles. They are so slippery!” Personally, the smoothness of metal tips are a selling point. I was very frustrated with the bamboo needles when I tried them. But if Bamboo is your jam, Chiaogoo still has you covered with their SPIN Interchangeable Knitting Needles.

I’ve read the SPIN cables aren’t as nice. I can’t speak to that myself. But I can tell you that the Red Lace cables that I’ve been referencing throughout this post will work on the SPIN tips. Chiaogoo’s FAQ addresses this, saying that the cables between both sets are interchangeable as long as you’ve got the right connector size.

When You Go Chiaogoo, You Never Go Back

I’ve been using my Chiaogoo needles for over a little over a year now, and they have significantly improved my knitting. Although some of my speed gains are probably due to practice, the sharp tips really do help me knit faster. The joins are so perfectly smooth that my stitches never snag or get caught as I’m working in the round.

I certainly get less frustrated with complicated stitches. I don’t think I ever could have tolerated making TWO cowls in Berroco Lustra on any other needles. Even the bobbles on the January Hat were easy on the Chiaogoo needles.

Having an amazing pair of needles has allowed me to focus on the yarns; knitting has become more meditative. You know you have a good set of knitting needles when they fade into the background and allow you to fully experience the yarn. Experiencing yarn is what we do here!

What are your favorite knitting needles? Send us a note and tell us about your go-to set!

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Chiaogoo Twist
Knitting Needles

Chiaogoo Small 4″ Interchangeable Knitting Needles

You can find this knitting needle set all over the web at various retailers. Our link above will take you to Amazon where you can get free shipping!

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