Knitting: Cast on Garter Tab Pro Tip

About: I am a teacher outside of Boston and I love making cool stuff! Any prizes I'm lucky enough to win will go directly to my classroom (when appropriate) where I teach 6-12th grade English, Social Studies, and S...

I recently had to learn how to do a garter tab cast-on for a cardigan I am knitting. Though there are tons of tutorials on how to do this seemingly easy technique, I found the majority of them to be too complicated and not clear enough for me. Once I finally understood how to do the garter tab cast-on, I decided to make a short Instructable---hopefully this will save others hours I'm embarrassed to admit I spent trying to figure this out. This Instructable also includes a very helpful pro-tip.

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Step 1: BoM

Knitting needles


Stitch markers

Step 2: Cast On

Cast on 3 stitches (or however many stitches your instructions say to cast on).

Step 3: Pro Tip

Put a stitch marker on each of the stitches to help keep track of them. This is a very helpful trick and makes this so much less confusing later.

Step 4: Knit

After placing the markers, you will knit however many rows your directions say. Mine said 6, so I knitted 6 rows.

Step 5: Pick Up Stitches

The next row is where you pick up the stitches along the garter tab edge by sliding the left needle into the edge of the rows you knitted (pic 1) and knit 3 stitches (pic 2). You'll have 6 stitches on your other needle.

Then you will knit the original 3 stitches from the cast-on for a total of 9 stitches on your right hand needle.

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    7 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago

    What brand of needles are you using? Looks like best of both worlds, wood for your hands, nice pointy metal tips for delicate work!

    4 answers

    Reply 8 months ago

    I use Knitters Pride. I actually won a set in an Instructables yarn contest a few years ago, but at that time I didn't know how to knit. So I ended up teaching myself so the needles wouldn't go to waste. They're fantastic, I have had to buy additional larger size needles and cables (they're interchangeable circular needles), but they're not too expensive.


    Answer 1 year ago

    The needles I have are Knitters Pride Royale interchangeable circular needles. They’re great!


    Answer 1 year ago

    Looks like more needles I need to add to my hoard! But is there a thing as too many? Like too much yarn?

    I have never liked using a provisional cast on for just 2, 3 or 4 stitches. I love your direction to use the coil less pins on the cast on stitches. It makes it easy to tug them just a bit to open them up to pick up the stitch.

    Elizabeth Zimmerman would have definitely approved!

    1 reply