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A young lady turns 15! The story behind the ChiaoGoo brand

Small steps to success

The history of ChiaoGoo begins in Linan, a city in China aka ''The Bamboo Capital of China''. While the grandfather of the ChiaoGoo founders still travelled through the country crafting household products from bamboo, his son, who followed in grandfather’s footsteps, went a step further and was able to start his own workshop in the 1980s. The workshop produced household goods but the bamboo knitting needles became the primary product here.

A bamboo craftsman in his workshop. Source: English Sina

The mother of the four founders was an excellent knitter who was knitting most of the time to keep her family warm during the long, cold winters but also to sell her hand-made garments to neighbours and friends to make some extra money for her family of seven. She kept asking for new special knitting needles and finally she was the one who had to test new products! It is not surprising that she was the inspiration for the ChiaoGoo brand name, which means “highly skilful and crafty lady”.

 



                    The founders' mother became the symbol of the ChiaoGoo brand

Over time, the founders decided to expand the brand into the market until they finally opened a US facility in 2005 and began selling their knitting needles worldwide. The rest is history.

Best quality for craft lovers

We at Wools Of Nations are absolutely fans of the knitting needles from ChiaoGoo! On the one hand, this is due to the high-quality materials used, such as bamboo, wood or stainless steel, and on the other hand also to the great variety - you will find the best tools for every project! The assortment is varied and ranges from classic straight bamboo knitting needles in different lengths (18 to 33 centimetres) and tip sizes from 2.25 mm to 10 mm; to knitting needle sets in XXS size (23 cm long with tip size 2.00 mm), circular knitting needles and needle sets with interchangeable tips. And yes, there are also bamboo circular knitting needles for the real XXL projects such as blankets! With needle size 25 you can also work with super thick yarns.

                           Chiaogoo Twist Red shorties
                   
ChiaoGoo TWIST Red Shorties Set - each set features 5 pairs of 5cm-long and 5 pairs of 8cm-long interchangeable knitting needle tips
We admit that we are especially fascinated by the super small interchangeable knitting needles - there are knitting needles tips that are only 5 centimetres long! and the associated cables, which are also available in different sets. All these needle tips and cables have in common that they all have the screw system, with which the needles and cables are connected. What's important here is the knitting needles tip size, because depending on the needle thickness you need a different cable. The small thicknesses are connected with small (but not necessarily short) cables, larger ones with cables that have a screw connection with a larger diameter. In order to ensure that you do not get tangled and that you always know which cable fits which needle tip, an ''M'' for mini, an ''S'' for small and an ''L'' for large have been lasered on the needle tips next to the needle thickness. This means that the data cannot be replaced. The metal ends of the cables also contain this information. So it really can't go wrong!

 

 General info applicable to all ChiaoGoo interchangeables

TWIST (stainless steel) and SPIN (bamboo) products share the same screw sizes, making them compatible with each other. All needle tips and cables are laser-engraved with the respective screw-size:

  • M = MINI, applies to needle sizes 1.50-2.50mm (5cm, 8cm, 10cm and 13cm lengths)
  • S = Small, applies to needle sizes 2.75-5.00mm (10cm and 13cm lengths)
  • L = Large, applies to needles sizes 5.50-10.00mm (10cm and 13cm lengths)

 The MINI range is not compatible with the standard S and L screw sizes, and thus all MINI needle tips require a MINI cable. Please note that the 10cm and 13cm-long MINI needle tips are too long for use with the 13cm or 15cm-long MINI cables. These can easily be connected by means of a MINI cable connector to extend the cable length accordingly. ChiaoGoo also offers adaptors which can connect MINI, S and L screw-sized products together.

Exception: the ChiaoGoo Shorties MINI sets contain needle tips sized 2.75-3.25mm which all share the MINI screw-size.

Flexibility is the magic word

They are transparent, red or blue - each coloured cable has a special property, be it fixed or interchangeable circular knitting needles. With the transparent SPIN cables, it is the freely rotating transition from cable to the metal part of the needle tips that prevents the whole work from twisting during knitting. 

The red and blue TWIST cables basically have similar properties. An important detail: as soon as you take the cables out of the packaging, you can lay the nylon-coated steel cables nice and smooth - they do not roll back into the original coiled form - as is the case with many other pure nylon cables. Incidentally, the blue cables are even more flexible than the red ones, making them ideal for smaller workpieces. 

Whether you choose bamboo or steel needle tips, blue, red or transparent cables: in any case, you can tighten the connections between the knitting needles and the corresponding keys so that nothing can accidentally come loose! In addition, there are even more practical accessories such as brightly coloured markers, a wooden yarn butler, practical storage accessories and, of course, our absolute favourite: the wooden yarn swift, with which you can wind a thread into a skein. This proves all the more that Chiaogoo has a versatile range. 

                       
                                                                 Wooden Yarn Butler    
               
                                                                   Wooden Yarn Swift

Finally, we can only say that we look forward to another 15 years full of innovations and that we are curious about what this highly skilful and crafty lady will bring us in the future!