Garter Tab for Shawls

  The Seaspray half pi shawl  starts off with the classic garter tab. Here's how to do it.

The Seaspray half pi shawl starts off with the classic garter tab. Here's how to do it.

The garter tab is a great way to begin a shawl that'll be worked from the top-down and centre-out. Traditional triangle shawls, half pi shawls, and other shapes use this technique.

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Cast On

Cast on the number of stitches indicated in your pattern. I used the long tail method to cast on 4 stitches following my Seaspray shawl pattern

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Knit

Knit the number of rows indicated in your pattern. In this case I knit 10 rows, giving me 5 garter ridges.

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Pick Up

After finishing the last row, don't turn work. You'll pick up along the edge of the tab - 1 stitch for every garter ridge and 1 stitch for every cast-on stitch. 

This is how I pick up stitches. I like to pick up into each garter ridge bump and into one leg of each cast-on stitch. I ended up with 13 stitches - 4 that were live from knitting the garter tab, 5 picked up along the edge of the tab, and 4 picked up along the cast-on edge. Depending on your pattern, you may end up with a different number of stitches.

In the next row, place your markers as indicated by your pattern. In this case, I placed markers to indicate the first 4 and the last 4 stitches - the edge stitches. Because I'm working the Seaspray half pi shawl, the middle 5 stitches are the body of the shawl. If I was making a triangle shawl, I'd probably have more markers.

And that's it! Now you're ready to follow your pattern for the rest of the shawl.

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Patterns That Use This Technique