Garter Tab Cast on Tutorial

My favourite method for casting on a triangular shawl is the 'garter tab cast on' as it gives a straight neat edge. My new pattern is to be released later this week (update: it's here!) and includes just such a cast-on, so for anyone who isn't familiar with this, or who needs a refresher, here's a step by step guide.  It's very simple when you know how and I've used a coloured yarn which should make it easier to make out where the different stitches start out and end up!


I usually use a long tail cast on, but unless specified in the pattern, any cast-on method you like is fine. For the purposes of the tutorial I'm using 2 stitches and six rows for the cast on, but this may vary in other patterns.


At this point, the knitting will probably want to twist up on itself, so just give it a little wiggle to straighten it and then lay it flat to clearly see the 'bumps' you will pick up to knit.


You're almost done - just one more rotation and a few stitches to go!


The 'bumps' on the cast-on edge may not be so easy to see, if you are a tight knitter. Take your time. 


The stitches are now ready for the 'set up' row and placement of your stitch markers! 


  1. Really good tutorial, I wish it had been around when I was first struggling with garter tabs!

  2. This is a new one for me so I'll look out for your new pattern. Good tutorial!

  3. Hi, I love your blog, is beauty, I love the colors, I love your crochet, visit my blog too,hugs from Brazil.

  4. I've done this cast on twice now but I still find picking up stitches from the bumps on the long side a mystery! Which part of the bump is the one to pick up? I just pick up some piece of yarn somewhere in the bump and move on...

    1. I used yarn which changes colour so hopefully you can see if you take another look at Step 2 and Step 3.... the left and right sts on picture 2 (not so clear on the middle st), there is a darker strand on each of the 'bumps' - it is those I pick up, although I'm not sure it makes a lot of difference which bit you pick up as long as it's uniform for all the stitches. Hope that helps.


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