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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So many of the shawl patterns I've looked at lately start with a "garter tab cast on". Can someone please explain this to me? Thank you so much!!!!
 

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Garter Tab Cast On Tutorial for Knitting a Shawl - YouTube
YouTube › watch
Video for garter tab cast on knitting
Duration: 3:02
Posted: Sep 30, 2011
Many knitted shawls use a garter tab beginning. In this ...
 

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Basically, you knit a small rectangle, back and forth, using two dpn's. Then pick up stitches right around the edge of it. Say you start with ten stitches and knit 12 rows, at the end of the 12th row you would pick up and knit twelve stitches down the left side of the rectangle (still using dpn's) then pick up and knit ten along the bottom of the rectangle then twelve up the right edge.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
MaryCarter said:
Basically, you knit a small rectangle, back and forth, using two dpn's. Then pick up stitches right around the edge of it. Say you start with ten stitches and knit 12 rows, at the end of the 12th row you would pick up and knit twelve stitches down the left side of the rectangle (still using dpn's) then pick up and knit ten along the bottom of the rectangle then twelve up the right edge.
Okay, I get the how. Now for the why?
 

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I don't use dpns for a garter tab. There are much easier ways to do it. Check the net for stitch diagrams ... I think one of the tech sites has them or maybe it was very pink's site. Easier to figure out that way than a video, for me, at least. Also, using a crochet hook makes it easier to do, for me when turning to pick up and knit the side stitches.
 

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Penelope Huckleberry said:
Okay, I get the how. Now for the why?
From this site http://kelbournewoolens.com/tipsandtricks/gartertabcaston/

I found this. The second paragraph explains why in one sentence. It looks better.
Why do it? This Cast-On creates a beautiful seamless edge to your garter stitch border and eliminates the need for seaming at the base of your shawl. It will transform your knitting from looking "homemade" to "handmade," and once you get the hang of it, you'll want to incorporate it into all of your shawls.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
annhkmiller said:
From this site http://kelbournewoolens.com/tipsandtricks/gartertabcaston/

I found this. The second paragraph explains why in one sentence. It looks better.
Why do it? This Cast-On creates a beautiful seamless edge to your garter stitch border and eliminates the need for seaming at the base of your shawl. It will transform your knitting from looking "homemade" to "handmade," and once you get the hang of it, you'll want to incorporate it into all of your shawls.
Thank you!!!
 

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It also makes a sturdier base for your shawl in that area. I also use a small crochet hook when picking up the stitches at the 90 degree angle---so much easier.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
klrober said:
It also makes a sturdier base for your shawl in that area. I also use a small crochet hook when picking up the stitches at the 90 degree angle---so much easier.
Thank you so much for your help!!! I have some beautiful hand painted #10 crochet thread that wants to be a shawl for an unusual dress. The garter tab is NOT allowed to get in the way!!!!
 

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annhkmiller said:
From this site http://kelbournewoolens.com/tipsandtricks/gartertabcaston/

I found this. The second paragraph explains why in one sentence. It looks better.
Why do it? This Cast-On creates a beautiful seamless edge to your garter stitch border and eliminates the need for seaming at the base of your shawl. It will transform your knitting from looking "homemade" to "handmade," and once you get the hang of it, you'll want to incorporate it into all of your shawls.
:sm24: :sm24:
 

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Reading all the explanations, I really cannot see the point. It is a shawl after all, and who is going to pick it up and study how it is cast on. More important things surely, ie. keeping the pattern and tension regular. Let's have a "see" when you have completed it. Winifred.
 

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I have done several, they don't "show" as tabs, just blend in as part of the border.
The first was a leap of faith, I couldn't figure out how that tricky little bit of knitting, in my case, 3 st wide, would become a useful part of anything. Took 3 tries as all i had was a knitting needle, no crochet hook with me waiting for my husband in the ER with AFib, but within a few rows i couldn't see tbe tab as an awkward clump, just a neat center beginning.

Definitely an "aha moment".
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
LindaBlueCat said:
I have done several, they don't "show" as tabs, just blend in as part of the border.
The first was a leap of faith, I couldn't figure out how that tricky little bit of knitting, in my case, 3 st wide, would become a useful part of anything. Took 3 tries as all i had was a knitting needle, no crochet hook with me waiting for my husband in the ER with AFib, but within a few rows i couldn't see tbe tab as an awkward clump, just a neat center beginning.

Definitely an "aha moment".
I hope your husband is well! Thank you for your kind answer. When I see this cast on on so many patterns, it is clear to me that skipping this step takes something away from the item it so obviously enhances. I am sure that the difference is significant.
 

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Some day I'm going to swatch a garter tab start and just an ordinary steadily increasing piece (just starting with few stitches) to see if there's a significant difference. I keep reading that it matches the rest of the shawl's edge - but that presuppose that all shawls are done with a garter stitch edge. I doubt that's true.
 

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MaryCarter said:
Basically, you knit a small rectangle, back and forth, using two dpn's. Then pick up stitches right around the edge of it. Say you start with ten stitches and knit 12 rows, at the end of the 12th row you would pick up and knit twelve stitches down the left side of the rectangle (still using dpn's) then pick up and knit ten along the bottom of the rectangle then twelve up the right edge.
I've not seen any patterns where you knit around the entire garter tab, only where you knit around 3 sides, then back and forth. The idea is the you are knitting the 3 or 4 stitch garter edge at each end and the body of the shawl in the centre... It does make a nice neat edge to the shawl...
 
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