Saturday, July 11, 2015

Tutorial: Garter Tab Cast on

The garter tab cast on gives an  invisible, seamless start to shawls worked from the top down. One example is here, from my Faroese shaped shawl, Sarah's Shawl.
The cast on is indistinguishable from the knitting. It also prevents the problem of a too loose or too tight cast on making your shawl look less then professional. 

Okay, so this cast on looks great, but how do you knit it? Start by casting on the required number of stitches. (Examples in this tutorial are for my Sarah Shawl, but feel free to use for any shawl.) In this case we will cast on 3 stitches. You can use the backwards loop cast on or a provisional cast on of your choice. 

Then you start knitting. Knit one row, slipping the first stitch with the yarn in front, then knit the rest of the stitches. The next row you knit all three stitches. You will repeat those row until you have the desired number of slipped stitches. Stop after you knit the K3 row. Don't cut the yarn! Your knitting will look like this:
The first loop on the bottom left of the photo isn't counted. I have 10 slipped stitches in this example. Now pick up and knit one stitch in each slipped stitch. Like this:
I have the three stitches that I was first working still on the needles and have already picked up and knit 5 more. After you have all the stitches on the side of the tab picked up and knit, it is time to pick up from the cast on. You pick up the same number you cast on, three stitches for this example. Pick up one from each loop that you cast on. It should look like this:
This is the right side of your knitting, you will follow the pattern for the first wrong side row, and the rest of the pattern. In Sarah's Shawl, the first and last three stitches are knit on every row, making the garter tab look continuous. 

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