Slipstream MKAL: questions answered

Slipstream CowlWe’re already enjoying discussing the Slipstream Mystery Knitalongs on the Ravelry forums. I wanted to post a few of the most frequently asked questions – with my answers.

Will my yarn work for the Slipstream Mitts?

If you’re knitting the Slipstream Mitts, it’s important that the yarn you choose is as close to the yarn we used for the samples as possible, so that you can get the right gauge and therefore a good fit. This really does mean as close to 365m/400yds per 100g as you can, and with a good twist.

If you’re an experienced knitter, and you want to use a yarn with more like 400m/440yds per 100g, then you may want to go down a needle size and add 5 extra stitches to your cast-on.

It’s also important that the yarn is stretchy and not too slippery. The mitts stretch to fit, so the yarn needs to help the mitts bounce back into shape when you take them off. Wool is naturally sproingy, which helps wool projects fit well after more wear.


Fyberspates Vivacious 4ply in Sea Green – a colour obsession.

A silky yarn will eventually make the stitches – and therefore the fit – slide out of shape with regular wear. I’d avoid yarns with tencel; save them for another project. If you want some silk content I’d choose at most a 50% blend with wool, ideally labelled as high-twist. Alpaca I’d recommend similarly blended with wool; 100% alpaca with negative ease will grow too much.

Will my yarn work for the Slipstream Cowl?

You’ve got a bit more flexibility with the Slipstream Cowl because it doesn’t have to fit snugly or even all that accurately. I’m assuming here that you’re not hung-up on super-precise measurements for a cowl.

It’s also not going to be stretched much, so it has little chance to be pulled out of shape – I’m also assuming you’re not going to let a toddler swing off it! Yarns with lower twist or a bit of silk will probably work fine because the cowl is only going to be stretched briefly over the head when it’s put on, not constantly in wear like the mitts.

I’d still aim for 365m/400yds per 100g. If you want to use a yarn nearer 400m/440yds per 100g you might get away with it at the gauge stated. If the fabric loses stitch definition, I’d go down a needle size and add 10% to the number of stitches you need to cast-on, rounded up to whole repeats (the number of stitches in the first clue repeat options are given in the first clue tips). Dare I suggest swatching in stocking stitch/stockinette?

Once the mystery is finished, I bet the cowl pattern would work really well for sportweight or DK, if you adjust the gauge and therefore the number of stitches cast-on. But I’m speaking as an inveterate pattern modifier!

Jump & Jive from Must Stash Yarns, in Sunset and Serenity.

Jump & Jive from Must Stash Yarns, in Sunset and Serenity. Summer in a skein.

What about my colour of yarn?

Solid colours will work just fine, but the design is more exciting in a semi-solid or variegated yarn. I’d avoid anything very dark because textures tend to disappear into the shadows. I’d avoid very pale colours for mitts from a purely practical perspective, unless your fingers never make contact with public transport or small children.

We haven’t tested in the newly-hot speckled yarns (and now I’m wishing I’d thought of it because this is so fabulous) so I can’t say for sure how they will work…but that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t give it a try! I am hoping the Slipstream design will work, but I just can’t predict. We did test in some very wild variegated yarn, and they look brilliant, so I am very hopeful that this will translate to the speckled colours being just as fabulous. I have my fingers firmly crossed.

What’s this rumour about an extra pattern?

I couldn’t possibly comment. Ach, actually, I will. If you want to make the set, I suggest you allow 200g of one colour. Yes, that’s a little more yarn than the two MKALs will need…and that’s as much as I’m saying.

I’ve got a question which isn’t answered here.

Come and ask in the MKAL threads for Slipstream Cowl and Slipstream Mitts. The mitts MKAL is being hosted by the Fingerless Gloves Fanatics, so if your question is about mitts in general you’ll get good advice there. The cowl MKAL is being hosted in my group…and some of us knit a lot of cowls!

When is the first clue available?

1st July. I can’t wait! See you here.


4 thoughts on “Slipstream MKAL: questions answered

  1. Just wanted to tell you that I received this through WordPress but with the ‘From’ name as another blog read that also comes through WordPress!! Seemed strange to me. Ann

    • I’m sorry to hear that! You’re right that’s strange. I’ve had a report that the post was misdelivered in a different way to another reader today.

      Unfortunately it’s nothing I can change or customise…I’m afraid WordPress must have been having a wobble! I hope it doesn’t happen again, but I do want to hear if it does, please.

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