As a brand-new knitter, I saw the Boye interchangeable needle set at Walmart. I had never heard of needle sets before, and I thought it was a genius idea. I received it for Christmas, and in the ten years since then I have gotten tons of use out of it. Over time, I started hearing about other brands, and I realized that Boye is not the best when it comes to quality. This past fall I decided it would be good to get a set of wood needles, too, because wood needles are good to use with slippery yarn.
After a lot of research, I decided to get the ChiaoGoo Spin set, which is made from hard bamboo. The most helpful source of information was a Facebook live review video from KnittingHelp.com. The video also gave a coupon code (now expired), so I ordered from their website. There are benefits to ordering from a knitting shop rather than from a big retailer, and as far as knitting shops go, this site had the lowest price I could find.
ChaioGoo is excellent quality, but in the medium price range. Their complete sets also come in a wide range of sizes: 2-15. That range is rare, and I like variety, so I use all those sizes. One feature that is completely unique to the ChaioGoo Spin set is that the ends of the cords spin, so the cord never gets twisted while you're knitting. It's really cool. I decided to get the 5-inch tips, and I am glad I did. My Boye set has 4-inch tips, and the 5-inch tips are easier to hold onto.
Here I compare a Boye cord (on the outside) to a ChiaoGoo cord (on the inside). You can see that the Boye cord is thicker and stiffer. I used to wonder why I didn't get awesome results with the magic loop method like so many other people do. Now that I have nice cords, I understand: flexibility is so important.
ChiaoGoo Twist set (metal tips) and passing the Boye set down to my kids.
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