How to Work the Garter Tab Cast On

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The garter tab cast on is the perfect cast on for top-down shawls. If your shawl is going to have a garter edge running along the top, this cast on is for you. It provides a near-seamless edging to the top of the shawl. In this video, Jen Lucas will show you how to work this cast on so that you’ll be ready to start your next top-down shawl with ease.

When working the garter tab, your knitting pattern will tell you how many stitches to cast on, how many rows to knit, and how many stitches to pick up and knit. For the video, Jen has cast on three stitches and knit six rows. This configuration is the most common set-up you’ll see for the garter tab cast on.

For the initial cast on, a long tail cast on is used. You may want to experiment using other cast ons, to determine which one is best for you. However, it is not recommended that you use the backwards loop (or backwards “e”) cast on, as that cast on can be a little too loose for this application. Once the three stitches are cast on, follow these steps to complete the garter tab:

– Cast on 3 stitches

– Knit 6 rows

– Turn work 90-degrees clockwise

– Pick up 3 stitches along the left edge

– Knit the 3 stitches just picked up (6 sts total)

– Turn work 90-degrees clockwise

– Pick up 3 stitches from cast on edge

– Knit 3 stitches just picked up (9 sts total)

Once the garter tab is complete, you’ll continue the pattern as written. The next row is often a set-up row on the wrong side of the shawl.

The garter tab cast on is perfect for all sorts of shawl patterns. You will find it used in triangular shawl construction, top-down crescent shawls, and many more shawl shapes.