The Dublin Tee, a Designer’s Tale

by melissajeandesign

Three years ago I had an opportunity to travel to Ireland and  jumped at the chance to go.  As a knitter, of course I had to create a sweater to bring with me.  A few ideas danced around in my head but I settled on a lacey cabled short sleeved tee-shirt style.  I had been looking through  Elizabeth Zimmerman’s Knitting Workshop and liked the saddle shoulder construction method I’d read about. The cables of my new sweater would lend itself well to this technique.  So I cast on, no drawings, no calculations, just cast on and go.  Have you ever done that?  I knit up my sweater in about 3-4 weeks….jotting down a few notes but not much more.  It fit, looked good, and in May of 2010 I set off for Ireland!


The trip was great, unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of my sweater while in Ireland, but here it is in a field next to my house:


I’m wearing a size Small with about 4″ of negative ease. The yarn is Nature’s Palette sock yarn, which is discontinued. Good substitutes would be Space Cadet Creations Celeste or Estell, Madeleine Tosh fingering, Koigu KPPPM, or any Wool yarn in a similiar weight that will spring back. You don’t want to choose a yarn that will not keep it’s shape when knit up. Also, a solid or semi-solid will work up more attractively than a highy variegated yarn with lots of colors.

I started wearing the sweater at  Sheep and Wool Festivals and was asked many times for the pattern.  When I sat down to write it, I had no concrete information, and had to start from scratch. Well, it was easy enough to calculate my size, but calculating mulitple sizes given the stitch pattern and construction method was not. It took a couple of years, design classes, tech editing classes, lots of math and one bad ass tech editor but I was able to publish the pattern for a range of sizes in a way that a moderately experienced knitter can understand. Whew! Feels great to have this pattern out there!


Our lovely model is wearing size 1X with 2″ of negative ease. The yarn is Space  Cadet Creations Lyra sportweight in the colorway Honey.

The Dublin Tee begins at the hem and is worked in the round, by the time you reach the underarms you’ve memorized the stitch pattern. Gussets are added to accomodate the sleeves.  Sleeves are constructed and attched, and  raglan decreases are worked  2/3 up the yoke.  Next is my favorite part, saddles!  The shoulder saddles are worked seperately.  Stitches are “eaten” up on the front and back, then the back only for neck shaping.

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Once the saddles are complete, you work to the center back and “eat ” up saddle stitches on either side, bringing up that lovely center cable.  A few rounds of 1×1 ribbing and you are done! How to choose a size?  Because the lace cable has so much give, there are options. If a snug sexy fit is more your style, choose a size that will give you 3-4″ of negative ease (for example, if your bust measures 32-33″, choose size small, which has a finished bust circumference of 28″).  If you would like a little more room, choose a size with 1-2″ of negative ease.  Use the schematic to figure it out: dublin_schematic

I’m looking forward to seeing  more Dublin Tees!  For more info visit my website  or Ravelry page

Enjoy a few more pictures of Ireland:

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