I received a set of ChiaoGoo US Size 1.5 (2.5mm) 40″ circular needles this for Christmas from my oldest. I had heard good things about these needles — the joins were good, the cable nice and best of all they were pointy. When I opened the needles, my first thought was how was I going to get all those kinks out of the cable. Unlike most needles, the cable on ChiaoGoo needles is a wire mesh cord covered in nylon and I couldn’t see that untangling in a pot of boiling water like I use for my regular needles. I needn’t have worried, as soon as the were out of the package the cable uncoiled straight as can be. It reminds me of the old Addi gold cables which you could also use right out of the package.
The second thing I noticed was the bend at the end of each needle. I wasn’t sure how I was going to like it, but where the bend is makes the needle fit perfectly and comfortably in my hand. I also thought the bend was going to be a problem with sliding stitches onto the needle using magic loop. I’m a tight knitter and I always spend a bit easing those last couple of tight stitches over the join onto the needle. No such problem with the ChiaoGoo. The joins are so smooth that the stitches just glide past with no struggle. Some of this has to do with the yarn I’m using which doesn’t have a lot of stretch so I’ll reserve judgement until I use a stretchy yarn, but I have a feeling I’ll get the same results. Again, the joins are a throwback to the old Addi gold cabled needles with their near invisible joins.
Perhaps the best of all is that they are pointy! I’ve been working on Pomatomus all morning and the twisted stitches haven’t given me a problem at all since the point just glides effortlessly through the back loop and I don’t have to do that thing where I stick the left needle in front of the right needle through the back loop then twist the needles around each other to get the left hand needle behind the right hand needle. I’ve performed this maneuver so many times with my Knit Picks’ needles that doing twisted rib was a major pain. The true test will come with a M1R of which there aren’t any in this particular sock so it’ll have to wait.
This is my Knit Picks US size 1.5 (2.5mm) needle after knitting a pair of socks. It was quite literally a pain to use. I knit very tightly and the bend shortened the amount of usable needle to half the length which cause a great deal of thumb pain while I was knitting. I was looking over the Knit Picks page and all it says is that they are nickle plated, but I don’t know over what. The ChiaoGoo needles are stainless steel so we’ll see what happens to the needle after I’ve been using it for a while. I expect a slight curvature, but I’ll be very disappointed if this happens with them.
Half a repeat into my first Pomatomus sock I’m very happy with the performance of these needles. I have no pain in my hands using them, ktbl’s are a breeze, and the cable is nice and straight with no kinks. I’ll revisit this once I’m done the socks and see how they’ve held up.