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Emily Wessel

Hi! I’m Emily Wessel, I design fun-to-knit patterns and helpful technique tutorials. I live in Edinburgh, Scotland with my husband and two kids, where I like to run, knit, learn languages, and hang out with friends. I am co-founder and designer at Tin Can Knits -


  1. Tips and Tricks: Trestle Shawl – whiteowlcrochetco.
    February 18, 2021 @ 6:18 pm

    […] The garter-stitch tab is a similar method to that used in this pattern, albeit with a different stitch pattern. Click here for the garter-stitch tab tutorial: […]

  2. rkaston
    November 29, 2020 @ 10:05 am

    Thank you so much for this tutorial! I have a silly question. I’m trying to make the oaken shawl. After I’ve done the garter tab, what’s my next step? Is is the “Set-up row (WS)“ from the oaken pattern?
    Thank you!

  3. rkaston
    November 29, 2020 @ 10:03 am

    Thank you for this wonderful tutorial!! I have a silly question, I’m trying to make the Oaken shawl, once I’m done with the Garter tab, which step is my next step? Is it the “Set-up row (WS)”?

    • Alexa Ludeman
      November 30, 2020 @ 11:18 am

      Hi – Yep! The set-up row is next.

  4. Lourdes Viswanathan
    August 27, 2020 @ 2:33 am

    This tutorial was excellent well explained

  5. Knit Triangle Shawl - Polyantha Rose Garden | Stitches n Scraps
    April 30, 2020 @ 2:43 pm

    […] Garter tab cast on from Tin Can Knits […]

  6. Le châle Grain – Binge Tricot
    March 22, 2020 @ 2:24 am

    […] : le garter tab cast on, qui évite d’avoir un trou au milieu de la bordure du châle. Le site internet de Tin Can Knits propose plusieurs versions de ce montage, je n’aime pas trop le montage provisoire, donc […]

  7. Sue Burton
    October 10, 2019 @ 1:47 pm

    Splendid tutorial! I think I can do this now… Thank you.

  8. Rama
    June 7, 2019 @ 9:24 pm

    Nice tutorial..

  9. Garter Tab Cast-On – How to start a triangular shawl | Tin Can Knits – squintysewer…sewmuchmore
    January 26, 2019 @ 9:27 pm

    […] Many triangular shawls – including our own designs – begin at the center back, with a small number of stitches, and then grow in ever-lengthening rows, which form 2 triangles, separated by a center stitch.  A garter-tab cast-on is recommended, as this technique creates a small rectangle of garter stitch, which blends seamlessly with the… — Read on […]

  10. Mariah
    January 23, 2019 @ 3:43 pm

    Thank you for this. It was a great tutorial.

  11. Catkin KAL | Mountain Hollow Farm
    October 26, 2018 @ 7:54 pm

    […] Illustrations by tin can knits: […]

  12. Cozy and Stormy – Knitty Natty at Home
    September 14, 2018 @ 10:53 am

    […] them rather finicky and just fudged my way around them. But then I found this picture tutorial from Tin Can Knits that explained everything perfectly! So if you’ve ever had trouble starting a shawl with a […]

  13. Lily
    July 9, 2018 @ 7:22 am

    Muchas gracias. He aprendido mucho contigo.

  14. Danielle Rowen
    June 1, 2018 @ 11:13 am

    Thank you!!! This is the most helpful tutorial I’ve seen for the garter tab cast on! I think I can do it now :)

  15. Gillian Therese
    February 23, 2018 @ 8:50 am

    This is the best non-verbal tutorial I have ever seen for garter tab cast on’s. Thank you very much.

  16. Seta Johnson
    December 25, 2017 @ 11:03 pm

    You are amazingly clear with this process. I love the photos as well. Excellent teaching skill.Thank you so very very much. English is my second language and you make it so easy and clear for me. Bravo! S Johnson

  17. Three ways to start a shawl – Centre Knitters Guild
    November 21, 2017 @ 6:08 am

    […] Garter Tab Cast-On – How to start a triangular shawl […]

  18. #TCKnewtricksKAL | Tin Can Knits
    August 11, 2017 @ 2:11 pm

    […] for you or a little one! Garter Tab Cast-on?  Make a Sunflower or Photosynthesis Shawl (and check out our tutorial). Hacking a pattern (to make your own design!)?  Start with the Flax pullover, Harvest Cardigan, […]

  19. I NEED HELP! Link me up – #NewbieKnitter
    March 7, 2017 @ 8:18 am

    […] Garter Tab Cast-On – the AMAZING Tin Can Knits lady. I need more reading-time to awww and ahhh over her blog. I’ll admit I found the garter tab cast-on I tried -using laceweight yarn ; lace weight. As a #newbieknitter I’m not laughing YOU’re laughing. Pahahahahahaa – very daunting then I found this. And the rest of her blog. My life, this woman rocketh muchly in the knitting world. *Wayne’s World Moment*   (this .gif is going to appear a LOT in this blog) […]

  20. Annie
    December 27, 2016 @ 6:44 am

    Okay, I followed over to this post because I was interested in the current “let’s knit a simple shawl” knit-along–and I still am!–but this is even better!

    I’ve been avoiding the provisional cast on forever, but I think your thorough tutorial and side-by-side comparisons of the three methods (not to mention the tiny, perfectly feel-free-to-mess-up-and-start-again-without-tears samples) have convinced me to finally learn it. Thanks for lighting a fire under my scaredy-pants backside!

  21. Grain: a new free shawl pattern! | Tin Can Knits
    December 22, 2016 @ 6:00 am

    […] tricky thing about this shawl, and that is the cast on. There are a few different ways to work the garter tab cast on, a most fussy way, a medium fussy way, and skipping it altogether and simply casting on as you […]

  22. Let’s knit a simple shawl | Tin Can Knits
    December 22, 2016 @ 5:55 am

    […] first step is the garter tab cast on. We have a detailed tutorial on how to work the garter tab cast on here, covering a couple of different […]

  23. Crochet Chain Provisional Cast On | Tin Can Knits
    November 17, 2015 @ 11:00 am

    […] can see this method in even more detail here (it is used as part of the garter-tab cast on, the method used in many triangular shawl […]

  24. Chrysanthemum Shawl – a big bountiful lace bloom! | Tin Can Knits
    July 5, 2014 @ 7:36 am

    […] with lace knitting techniques?  We have tutorials that cover the garter-tab cast on (how many top-down shawls are started), how to read charts, and how to block a lace shawl or […]

  25. MARTHA
    October 10, 2011 @ 2:50 am

    Oh thanks! so much. I have finally just understood!!

    Muchas gracias!

  26. Ruby T.
    September 23, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

    Yours is the first explanation of provisional cast-on that has made sense to me. Thank you so much for this valuable tutorial. I’m now looking forward to trying several patterns I once was afraid to attempt.

  27. Carlota
    September 20, 2011 @ 2:47 pm

    Thank you so much for this tutorial!!!
    Muchísimas gracias, es perfecto para el chal que quiero hacer.

  28. Episode #13 – Charts, One Step at a Time | Bowpeeps Blog
    August 29, 2011 @ 6:48 am

    […] Garter stitch tab, a “how to” courtesy of Damp City Knits blog. […]

  29. Wendi in Biarritz
    July 23, 2011 @ 7:44 pm

    Thank you! I just started the Daybreak shawl and ripped it out because I knew I’d done something wrong. I’m so glad I found this!

  30. Vivian
    May 24, 2011 @ 7:10 am

    Dear Emily,
    Thank you so much. This is just what I was looking for. I knew how to begin a triangular shape without the tab, and wanted a more complete way to do it.
    Isn’t it lovely that all of your good cheerful work is being found and used almost two years later. May there be many more. Thank you, again.

  31. Savannagal
    May 18, 2011 @ 9:49 am

    I wish I had found this tutorial when I made my Ishbel. I must have ripped out 20 times. I had to cut off the end of my yarn because it was so frayed. Thanks much for a wonderful, easy to follow tutorial.

  32. sarah
    April 19, 2011 @ 10:05 am

    Thank you so much for this tutorial!!! I tried several times to figure it out from the directions but failed miserably. I really needed the pictures to describe it. Thanks again!

  33. Tara
    March 17, 2011 @ 4:23 pm

    Thanks for the pictures and explaination. I got to “see it” to understand. I appreciate the time you put into this.

  34. Episode #13 – Charts, One Step at a Time | Bowpeep's Blog
    January 30, 2011 @ 8:59 pm

    […] Garter stitch tab, a “how to” courtesy of Damp City Knits blog. […]

  35. Diane
    January 28, 2011 @ 6:12 am

    Thanks for the help. I am starting the pattern from Knitty of Citron:)

  36. Help for the echo flower shawl
    January 26, 2011 @ 9:10 am

    […] by making a garter stitch rectangle. For more on starting a triangular shawl have a look at Damp City Knits post on the Garter Tab Cast on. This leaves you with 11 stitches (3 on each side and 5 on the long […]

  37. jaudon
    January 8, 2011 @ 5:50 am

    Thanks so much for this great tutorial! The pictures are very clear and I am now ready to go!

  38. Corinne
    October 11, 2010 @ 12:52 pm

    Beautifully illustrated garter stitch tab!! Thank-you!
    As a visual learner, I struggled repeatedly with the written instructions for the garter stitch tab. And then, I found your instructions and photographs. And voila,… I am finally able to get my lace project started.
    Again,… very nicely done!!


  39. abbie
    October 4, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

    This tutorial makes sense and since I am a visual learner, I will save this and use it when I start my shawl.


  40. Eve
    August 14, 2010 @ 5:30 am

    Very helpful!!!

  41. Bev
    June 18, 2010 @ 9:55 pm

    Thank you-this is so clear with great photos!

  42. Kate G.
    May 21, 2010 @ 9:27 am

    This is a wonderful cast-on. Thank you for a photo-riffic tutorial!

  43. Float Like a Butterfly, Sting Like a Bee — Adventures of Socktopus
    January 27, 2010 @ 1:33 am

    […] I’m aiming to finish a knitting project every month since I have altogether way too many WIPs that I want to have finished tout de suite! This month I dug out my Aeolian shawl (here is the original pattern) which has been sadly neglected, 15 rows from finishing, since last summer.  The thing with this kind of shawl is it is a triangle shape, with the point facing down.  The knitting starts in the middle of the top long edge, with each row starting from the long edge, moving towards the middle to form one side of the triangle, then from the point returning to the edge again to form the third side of the triangle.  Here’s a great diagram I found with a photo tutorial. […]

  44. SeedStitch
    January 22, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

    This is just wonderful! I’m starting my first lace shawl and was so sure I was doing things wrong. Thanks for a great tutorial with clear pictures AND written instructions.

  45. Tracy
    December 1, 2009 @ 6:39 am

    Thank you so much for the clear explanations and illustrations!

    I am an absolute beginner of lace shawl knitting and have a hard time understanding how to begin my first shawl by reading the instructions on the pattern…

  46. jaïs
    November 14, 2009 @ 12:06 am

    Oh many thanks! I have finally just understood!!

  47. Jessica
    November 9, 2009 @ 3:00 am

    These instructions are extremely helpful! Thank you for making this tutorial.
    I’m wondering if you can help me with something else. I’m working on the Swallowtail shawl and I have finished everything except the border, because I can not for the life of me, figure out how to start it. Could you maybe explain this or point in the direction to a tutorial? It would be greatly appreciated.

  48. Cassandra
    September 5, 2009 @ 1:38 am

    Oh, bless you for this! I’ve just started a triangular shawl which starts with a provisional CO and the garter stitch tab (nice term!) but doesn’t clearly identify taking the CO out to get the last three stitches. I thought I knew what to do but your post clarified it beautifully, thanks so much!

  49. Meghan Ciana Doidge
    August 7, 2009 @ 10:25 am

    Great instructions! thanks!

  50. Socks In Progress «
    August 3, 2009 @ 12:16 pm

    […] to see the colors she picked out for our Ulmuses. Hopefully, between the advice of Meezermeowmy, Damp City Knit’s Garter Tab How-To and a few other resources we will manage the pattern without too much […]

  51. Nancy
    August 2, 2009 @ 1:52 pm

    These instructions are very clear, but — using this method — will I still get the points such as on the Entomology shawl or your Photosynthesis shawl?

    • dampcityknits
      August 2, 2009 @ 2:29 pm

      Nancy – The Garter Tab Cast-on method is how you start your shawl – when you get to the very end of the shawl, and work the lace edging and bind-off, you are working the part of the shawl that forms the scalloped edging. So the little garter tab is almost invisible at the end, because it is in the center back of the piece of lace. It is the last few rows (at the bottom edge), and the way that you block your shawl which determine how the edge will look.

      So Yes – you will still get the scalloped edge with points as you see on the Etymology or Photosynthesis shawls!
      Cheers – Emily