What is a Garter Tab?

And....what is a Stockinette Tab?, Why do I need them?


I have gotten this question several times, so I want to show you this easy (and a little fiddly) technique.


Crescent shaped shawls often have an edging of stockinette stitch or garter stitch that is knit at the same time as the rest of the shawl. A tab is worked at the very beginning of the shawl that enables that edging to go continuously from one end of the shawl to the other.


In this case, the edging is in garter stitch, but it could also be in stockinette stitch, or in a mock i-cord.


This shawl is Noble Crescent, and it is a pattern that I did for Cascade Yarns a few years ago. It is a free pattern, so you can click the name or the picture and download the pattern. It is a nice, easy introductory pattern for a crescent shaped shawl.


The patterns begins with a garter tab. Here are the instructions:


Begin Pattern:

With larger needles, CO 3. Knit 4 rows. Pm, pick up 3 sts along the long end of the work, pm, pick up 3 sts on the CO end of the work. 9 sts. Here is a video that shows you how to pick up the stitches from the garter tab. Once you have picket up the stitches along the long end of the tab and along the cast on edge, you are set up to begin the shawl.


There is a slight correction on the pattern that will be fixed soon. The pattern says that after you knit the 4 rows, you need to slide the knitting to the other end of the needle before picking up the stitches. That does not need to happen. Once you complete the 4 rows, you are ready to begin picking up the stitches along the long end and along the cast on end of the tab.



As I note in the video, this same technique can also be used for crescent shaped shawls with stockinette stitch edging rather than garter. The stitch pattern on the tab should match the stitch pattern on the shawl edging.


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