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Triangular Shawl Recipe with NO GARTER TAB!


Looking for an alternative to the Garter Tab Cast On? Look no further! In this post, I'll share how to start a triangular or crescent shawl without using a Garter Tab Cast On, and with stunning results, too. I'll also give you a basic "recipe" to follow for making a simple triangular shawl. Happy knitting!


Step 1: Getting those stitches on the needles

Make a loose slipknot that will tighten when pulled from the tail.

Place the slipknot onto your left-hand needle. Without taking the slipknot off of the needle, work a (K1, YO, K1, YO, K1) all into the slipknot. Then remove the slipknot from the left-hand needle. Note: if your Garter Tab Cast On is meant to yield 7 stitches or your pattern calls for 7 stitches to be cast on at the beginning, work an extra "YO, K1" into the slipknot.


You might be wondering why it was so important to have a slipknot that adjusts when pulled from the tail. It's so you can now give the tail a tug and your stitches close together to create a beautiful "sunburst" at the beginning of the work!


Extra Credit Step 1: An even smoother start to the shawl

When we began with a slipknot, above, a tiny knot was made inside of the "ring". If you'd like to make a ring without a knot at the beginning of the shawl, follow these steps.


With your yarn laying over your left index finger, tail down, wrap the yarn over the index finger and around once to create two loops of yarn over the index finger.


Take the knitting needle and insert it into the two loops from right to left and transfer the loops off of the finger and onto the needle. Carefully, place the needle in your left hand. Work the (K1, YO, K1, YO, K1) into this ring instead.


Step 2: Starting the Shawl

We aren't done yet! Now that you have some stitches on the needles, you'll need to knit a few rows to accout for the space and depth that a Garter Tab Cast On typically takes up. You may also need to do some increasing to make sure you've got the stitches you need to begin your shawl as written.


For the Triangular Shawl Recipe, knit two rows and then proceed with Step 3.


For other shawls, look at your pattern and determine the number of stitches that would have been on the needles after completing the Garter Tab Cast On (GTCO).


7 sts after the GTCO: begin with a (K1, YO, K1, YO, K1, YO, K1) after the slipknot/beginning ring. 7 stitches on the needle. Knit 3 rows and begin your shawl pattern with the instructions just after the GTCO.


9 sts after the GTCO: begin with a (K1, YO, K1, YO, K1) after the slipknot/beginning ring. 5 stitches on the needle. Knit 2 rows.

Row 3: increase four stitches by working (K1, YO) four times, K1. 9 stitches on the needle.

Row 4: if your shawl uses a lace design at the center top, knit this row. If your shawl has a closed increase design, work (K1, knit one stitch through the back loop) four times, K1.

You can now begin your shawl pattern with the instructions just after the GTCO.


11 sts after the GTCO: begin with a (K1, YO, K1, YO, K1, YO, K1) after the slipknot/beginning ring. 7 stitches on the needle. Knit 3 rows.

Row 4: increase four stitches by working K1, YO, K2, YO, K1, YO, K2, YO, K1. 11 stitches on the needle.

Row 5: if your shawl uses a lace design at the center top, knit this row. If your shawl has a closed increase design, work a knit row, working the yarn over stitches through the back loop.

You can now begin your shawl pattern with the instructions just after the GTCO.


For amounts of stitches greater than 11 stitches after the GTCO, start with 7 stitches in your slipknot and work 2 knit rows, increase to 11, work 2 knit rows, and increase evenly the remaining number of stitches needed.


Step 3: Beginning Shawl Increases in the Triangular Shawl Recipe

Row 1 (RS): (K1, YO) four times, K1. 4 sts increased. 9 sts on the needle.

Row 2 (WS): Knit.

Row 3: K1, YO, K3, YO, place a marker to mark the center stitch, K1, YO, K3, YO, K1. 4 sts increased. 13 sts on the needle.

Row 4: Knit.


Row 5: K1, YO, knit to the marker, YO, slip the marker (making sure the yarn over stays to the RIGHT of the marker), K1, YO, knit to the last stitch, YO, K1. 4 sts increased.

Row 6: Knit.


Tip: place a marker on the RS of the work to help you keep track of the side you work increases on.


Step 4: Knitting the Shawl

Repeat Rows 5 and 6, above, to your desired shawl length and width.


Step 5: Finishing the Shawl

Bind off using the Elastic Bind Off. Weave in ends and block to smooth your stitches.


Step 6: Brag A Little

Share photos of your finished shawls on social media and tag me! I can't wait to see them.



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