Hmmm. ChiaoGoo Shorties or DPNs? Until recently I was undecided. I have always used DPNs for socks, narrow sleeves and other small diameter ‘in the round’ projects and ChiaoGoo circulars with 5″ tips for larger diameters.
I had heard about ChiaoGoo Shorties in sets so I decided to give them a try….
Here’s my review:
I was knitting a top down jumper in 4ply merino yarn and I got to the start of the first sleeve. I began with my usual DPNs but as I worked down the sleeve I noticed the stitches on the ‘corner’ were looser. Although I was moving the stitches round so that the ‘corners’ weren’t always in the same place, I still got the loose stitches. On such a fine knit it was quite noticeable and I suspected blocking wouldn’t make it disappear. (The pattern is Arki by Tuuli Eloranta from Nordic Yarn, Nordic by Nature. I have added a floppy cowl neck to my version.)
I bought a set of ChiaoGoo Shorties (the blue set is for 4ply and DK). After unravelling the sleeve I had knitted so far I picked up the stitches using the 3.5mm 3″ tips and 6″ cable (giving a total length from tip to tip of 12″).
Initially it felt very strange using such short needles, especially after being used to 8″ long DPNs. However I quickly got used to the tips and cable and found it easier, more comfortable and quicker to knit this way. I whizzed around each row down the sleeve!
As I got near the cuff, the pattern has regular decreases to give a shaped, narrow cuff. With the ChiaoGoo Shorties it was no problem. I changed to the smaller cable length, and then to the shorter tips, ending up with a length of 9″ from tip to tip. Its so easy to change the cables and tips while you are working by using the end stoppers, a real benefit of this system.
Most importantly, the sleeves don’t have the loose stitches anymore!
In fact, I was so impressed with these sets that I’ve just added them to our range of ChiaoGoo needles. If you do a lot of sock knitting, or small knitting in the round, I highly recommend these.