Updated: Oct 9, 2017
I am often asked to name my favorite brand of knitting needles. After 43+ years of knitting, I have one absolute first choice, we'll get to that in a moment.
I have tried A LOT of knitting needles both brand and non-brand (Addi, Lantern Moon, Hiya Hiya, Knit Picks Options, DyakCraft, Kollage, Knitter's Pride, Lion Brand, Susan Bates, Denise, etc.)
I have used many types of knitting needles (straights, double points and interchangeable) made out of wood, bamboo, aluminum, stainless steel, etc. I have even tried different knitting needle shapes (round, hexagon, square, etc.) As a result, I have quite the collection.
Each needle had its own challenge - snagging on the yarn, awkward feeling when knitting, too short for my long fingers, flimsy construction, connectors coming apart from the cable, etc.
Finding the Prize: ChiaoGoo Knitting Needles
Honestly, when I first heard about ChiaoGoo Twist Red Knitting Needles, I was hesitant to try them because they are made in China. I was concerned about the quality among other things. However, the more I read about them from both professional and non-professional sources, I knew that I had to try them.
ChiaoGoo products are manufactured by a family-owned company in Hangzhou, China. The products are distributed from Troy, MI (USA) and according to the company, adhere to the latest environment-friendly manufacturing processes and most products are 100% recyclable.
The quality of ChaioGoo needles is exceptional! Not only do they look good, but they felt comfortable right out of the box. There was no "learning curve" when I tried them for the first time, which is important to me as a long-time knitter because my needles are the tools of my trade.
Here is the set description:
13 needle 5" tips: US 2 (2.75mm), US 3 (3.25mm), US 4 (3.55mm), US 5 (3.75mm), US 6 (4mm), US 7 (4.5mm), US 8 (5mm), US 9 (5.5mm), US 10 (6mm), US 10.5 (6.5mm), US 11 (8mm), US 13 (9mm), and US 15 (10mm)
3 cable lengths 14", 22" and 30"
2 cable connectors (1 of each of Small & Large)
4 End Stoppers (2 each of Small & Large)
2 cord keys, 1 Needle Gauge and 24 Stitch Markers (6 units of 4 styles)
All of this comes in a beautiful zippered fabric case with separate pockets for all the needles and some extra pockets.
You get a lot for your money! Everything is included to start knitting a project with them right out of the box - even stitch markers.
You can purchase either the large needle set, the small needle set or the complete needle set. I opted for the complete needle set which, in my opinion, is the best deal. I especially like that the needle sizes in the complete set include a size US 2 and a US15. You can buy larger size circular needles separately. You can buy ChiaoGoo needles here at Amazon.
The needles come in two lengths 4" and 5". I have rather long fingers, so the 5" work perfectly for me. As of this writing, the interchangeable needle sizes range from US 0 - 15; and the standard circulars range from US 0 - 19. The sizes are put onto the needles via laser so that they are clearly labeled and do not rub off, unlike some other brands I've tried.
The needles come in both the bamboo (ChiaoGoo Spin Set) and stainless steel (ChiaoGoo Red Twist) sets. I own both sets, but I prefer the stainless steel because I like the smooth feel and durability of the metal, and I like the Red Twist cables better. I have used the Red Twist cables on the bamboo needles, but I find that overall, bamboo tends to slow me down.
The needle points are just right, not too blunt or too sharp. The needle shafts are super smooth and glide through the yarn as you work. I have used them for a variety of projects including lace.
The cables are multi-strand, steel coated with red nylon which makes them durable and memory-free so that they keep their shape and NEVER tangle. This was a HUGE selling point for me. No more bends and tangles in my cables! No more having to steam the cable to straighten it out! (ROLLING EYES and SMH)
The cord connections are super smooth. You need a t-pin (included) or something similar to connect the tips to the cables; I have used a paper clip or safety pin, and it works just as well. The tips easily attach to the cables and once connected properly; they stay put! Yay!!!
Having a secure connection is essential when knitting in the round. There is nothing more frustrating to me than when the connection either snags the yarn or comes apart from the needle causing the work to drop off.
The needles have a "lifeline hole" feature which allows you to thread your lifeline through the knitting needle so that it is added to your work as you knit. How cool is that!
The Carrying Case & Accessories
The case contains a separate space for each needle tip pair with clearly embroidered sizes. There is even extra space for additional needle tips and my size G crochet hook which I often use when knitting.
The set also includes a gauge and needle sizing ruler, connectors to make cords longer, end caps for the cords and stitch markers. I honestly do not use the stitch markers only because I prefer the locking type. Otherwise, they are fine and a nice inclusion.
The Bottom Line
Chiaogoo Red Twist needles are high-quality, affordable needles that will provide you with years of knitting bliss.