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