Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Reviewing the ChiaoGoo Premium Stainless Steel "Knit Red Lace" Needles

When you’re a knitter there’s nothing more important than the tool you use to orchestrate your wonderful knitting objects. You can have all the yarn in the world but when it comes down to it, how are you going to knit that yarn? Knitting needles come in all manner of sizes each one having its own use. Lots of variations of knitting needles exist too such as DPNs and cable needles. Even variations of the same sizes exist such as wooden needles vs. metal needles but it goes so much deeper than that as I’ve learned in my one year of knitting. I’ve used quite a few metal variations of needles, some slippery some with a good grip, each brand have had a completely different feel to them and it really does make a difference. You may not imagine using an Addi Turbo over a Knit Picks metal needle would make a difference but it does. With my recent self striping afterthought heel sock project finished I figured I would do a little review/discussion on the needles I use, because the kind of needles you use matter a lot with socks.

Today I’m discussing the ChiaoGoo Premium Stainless Steel Size US 2 (2.75 MM) with a 32 inch (80 CM) cable, dubbed “Knit Red Lace”. ChiaoGoo is a brand under Westing Bridge LLC and is a family owned business started by four Zheng brothers. Born and raised in Linan, China the brothers come from a family of craftsmen with the brother’s Mum being a knitter. This entire company started with the brothers making these needles for their mum so it’s kind of a sweet back-story. (Mum If I knew how I would make you knitting needles.) Their Mum is actually the inspiration for the name ChiaoGoo which means “highly skillful and crafty lady”. It seems these needles released overseas around the late 90s and 2000s.

I came across these needles of course from my Mum (Who is a big inspiration for me and my knitting too.) who wasn’t a major fan of these needles but thought they were good enough to pass on to me. I decided to break out these needles for my afterthought heel sock project. One of the inputs from Mum was that the cable on this needle set was too ridged and not flexible enough. I originally thought the same too but after a while I found the cable doesn’t bug me in the slightest. See I knit socks using the magic loop method which means I have two Mickey Mouse ears sticking out from either end of my yarn. Originally I thought the rigidness would make this cable hard to work with but the cable actually seems to keep out of my way.

Moving on to the actual needles while some metal knitting needles tend to not hold their stitches and I’ve experienced quite a few dropped stitches from some but these seem to be made with a metal that grips. I say Addi Turbo needles are still the needles with the best metal grip (Maybe too much grip) but these needles seem to have a balance of slick and grip allowing you to knit at a good pace without worrying about dropping any precious stitches. These needles are great sock needles but what they’re actually meant to be used for I’ve not yet tried out, Lace. Yes these are actually lace needles but with how smooth these needles are I assume lace will be a piece of cake. These needles seem to also be good for knitters with tight gauges; I included which is another reason why I feel these needles connected with me.

Here’s the fun part I actually have a video demonstrating myself using these needles. It’s not a dedicated video on these needles but it’s ZAK Knits Episode 4 which was dedicated to the project I had on these needles, my afterthought heel socks. I also show how cable works when dealing with these needles too so it’s a good watch to add a final touch to my thoughts on these needles.

All in all these needles are very comfortable and I thoroughly enjoy using these. The cable felt rigid in the beginning but as I worked them it started to feel more natural. I highly recommend these needles to you if you’re looking for new sock needles or lace needles, the cable seems to be great for magic loop and its rigidness soon becomes completely unnoticeable. Needles like these really make me appreciate metal needles as much as I do wooden needles. Of course I’ve talked about the needles but where would go about buying them? Amazon has them listed with a couple of buyers you can purchase these needles from. Pay no heed to the $6.20 price when you add on the shipping it ends up $9.00 anyway but there are a couple of other sellers here. View this product here:

These needles do not have an interchangeable cord and you will have to purchase different needles if you want a different length, I have so many needles in this house so this isn’t really a bother for me. Luckily ChiaoGoo has quite the variety and you can check them out at ChiaGoo’s website: !

With that said and done I actually have a knitting update for everyone! Is this a new project? You bet your bottom stitch marker!

I’m knitting up this little knitted colorworks cozy. Why am I knitting this you ask? Well recently I got a new battery put into my Film Camera’s remote finally after all this time and to keep everything together I’m knitting up this cozy for the remote. After knitting this I’ll be knitting some eye cord to wrap around my camera case so it’s always there to grab.

The pattern I’m using is the same as my other colorworks project in the works which will serve as a sketchbook cozy. This is a favorite pattern of mine and my Mum’s so it’s used a lot in our work. This is actually just a quick knit up project so it’ll be done soon.

Today’s FREE knitting pattern feature is actually this exact pattern I’m using for both of these projects. This is “Argyle Cardigan forKindle 3” by Julia Farmer.

Argyle patterns have deep roots in knitting and colorworks history and you’ll find Argyle Cardigans and Sweaters everywhere, it’s almost like the poster pattern for colorworks and maybe even knitted sweaters in general. The Argyle pattern dates back to at least the 17th century where it was found primarily used in kilts and plaids in Western Scotland, Argyll to be more precise. Argyle knitwear became fashionable in Great Britain in the aftermath of the First World War. Argyle has stood the test of time with hundreds maybe even thousands of variations and patterns based on it.
This specific pattern Is made to be used as a Kindle cozy or Amazon Fire cozy but it’s such an easily adaptable pattern you can use it for just about any kind of case you want, you can even take the argyle pattern out and use it on different objects such as socks. It’s a big favorite of mine and my Mum’s which is why it’s used so often in our house. It’s easy to knit and you only ever need two colors to knit this pattern. (You can get crazy and add more than two if you want.) Argyle is perfect for someone wanting to break into colorwork knitting so check this pattern out on Ravelry: ! I might be sharing some more wonderful Argyle patterns going into winter/Christmas time as they make great winter patterns so stay tuned!

That brings us to the end of the blog for today, it’s been a while since I did a 100% knitting based blog but after the chaos of writing Monday’s blog. I got something in the mail yesterday by the way that will be the focus of my next #WorldWatercolorMonth blog so keep an eye out on the blog and my social media for when that drops!

This was ZAK Entertainment, See you on Friday!

[Photo Credits: Zachary Kuhn/ZAK Entertainment and Julia Farmer]

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