MaddieHarvey_Ama_HeldOutAn i-cord tab cast-on is used in lots of top-down shawls with an i-cord edge, just like my Ama Shawl pictured left. It works in the same way as a garter tab cast-on but the ‘tab’ that you pick up stitches along is an i-cord rather than a strip of garter stitch.

If you’d like to know more about garter tabs, click here to have a read of my “Smarter Garter Tabs” blog post.

You could use this method with any of my top-down shawls, where you wanted to replace the garter stitch edge with an i-cord: just be sure to pick up the correct number of stitches along the i-cord in accordance with your pattern instructions.


Firstly, cast on three stitches. Knit the three stitches and slip them back to the left-hand needle. Repeat this twice more (or however many times according to your pattern).


Next, knit the three stitches once more, but this time don’t slip them back to the left-hand needle. Instead turn your work 90 degrees clockwise. You’ll be picking up stitches along the line of V stitches as shown in the right hand picture below.


Now pick up and knit, 3 stitches along the side of the i-cord (left hand picture below). You now have 6 stitches on the right hand needle. If you’d like further details on how to do this, then click here to read my blog post about picking-up stitches along an i-cord.


Lastly, turn the work 90 degrees clockwise again and pick-up and knit 3 sts along the cast-on edge of the i-cord (right hand picture above). This can be a little bit fiddly but try to make them as evenly spaced as possible, inserting your needle under two strands of yarn before pulling through a loop. You should now have 9 stitches. Work the wrong-side row according to your pattern instructions.

I hope you’ve found that helpful? For more knitting tips straight to your inbox, you can sign up to my mailing list to receive my twice-monthly “Creative Notes” and news of exclusive offers, by clicking here.

Click here to head to the pattern page of my website, to find out more about my Ama Shawl pattern.