Sweater Workshop: Betty's Tunisian Tee

Sep 5, 2011
Tunisian Crochet .

Betty's Tunisian Tee by Tram Nguyen ,

from Interweave Crochet Fall 2011

The instant I saw Betty's Tunisian Tee by Tram Nguyen, from the Fall 2011 issue of Interweave Crochet, I knew I had to make this luscious silk top. I love the strong lines and textures created with a combination of Tunisian knit stitches and Tunisian purl stitches.


As I read the pattern and studied the sample garment, I realized that this entrelac top might look more complicated on the surface than the construction entails. This is really a great intermediate Tunisian crochet pattern! Let’s look at the unique construction together.



Betty's Tunisian Tee is worked in the round from the bottom up in entrelac tiers: two pyramids at front and back (number 1 on the schematic), two diamonds that wrap around the sides (number 2), two "V’s" placed point to point with the first pyramid for the front bust and back (number 3), and two squares each for the sleeves (numbers 4 and 5). The directional striping in each tier is created by alternating Tunisian knit stitch and Tunisian purl stitch.


Tunisian Tee .

1) The Base Triangles

This top begins with a chain that is the length of the hip circumference. The first base triangle is worked, beginning with just two Tunisian stitches, from the lower left corner in rows that increase in stitch number. These rows are worked at an angle from the lower right point to the last row, which is the entire length of the triangle from the top point to the lower left point.


At this point, you will have worked into half of the beginning chain stitches. The second base triangle is worked in the same manner as the first. All of the beginning chain stitches should be worked, and you now have two triangles.




2) The First Entrelac Block


To begin the first body block, or the side diamond, pick up loops along the right edge of the first diamond. You will continue to work in Tunisian knit stitch and Tunisian purl stitch pattern, but because you are working at a different angle, these stripes will be perpendicular to those created in the base triangles.


Each successive entrelac block is worked in a similar manner, building the tee geometrically. I found the constructions diagrams (above) particularly helpful when I was figuring out this garment's construction. While I will admit that, on first glance, it resembles a battleship, this clever drawing is an excellent representation of the way the entrelac tiers are built into the final garment. If you fold the drawing along the lines I have drawn (above right), you can see what I mean (left).

. Tunisian Crochet Vest

The Purple Smoothie Vest by Dora Ohrenstein,

from Interweave Crochet Fall 2011

Once you have wrapped your head around the intriguing construction techniques, this unique pattern is beautifully accessible. But if Betty's Tunisian Tee still feels a bit out of your reach, check out the Tunisian Purple Smoothie Vest by Dora Ohrenstein, also from the Fall 2011 issue.


Interweave Crochet continues to introduce new crochet techniques and pattern possibilities.

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Best wishes,

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hi.anja wrote
on Sep 5, 2011 11:18 AM

Having canceled my paper subscription a while ago because of delivery issues in Canada, I was really excited about the electronic subscription news. Unfortunately I just spent over an hour signing up on Zinio and downloading and installing their software, uninstalling, reinstalling ... just to get their trial issue up (and I'm very glad I started with a trial issue, and didn't pay first and encounter a wall after).

The short version is, it doesn't seem to be running on my Linux machine, and Adobe Air will not be supporting Linux in the future. (Right now I rather feel like I should be paid for my time and effort, not pay for the subscription. If buying something is this difficult, it's not going to sell well.)

Couldn't you just make .pdf. files available for download for subscribers? That would make things so much easier. As things stand, I guess I won't be a subscriber, after all. The magazine rocks, but the delivery methods fail. Sorry.

Toni Rexroat wrote
on Sep 6, 2011 10:38 AM

I am sorry you had so much trouble with Zinio. You can download a digital PDF version from the store. This does not work as a subscription, so you would need to visit the store, but with the computer issues, this might be the easiest solution for you. You can check out the digital issues in the Crochet Me Shop here.


I will be sure to share you difficulties with our Subscription and eMedia departments. This will definitely be something they will want to know.

Thank you!

on Sep 6, 2011 6:41 PM

Lovely and very feminine!

hi.anja wrote
on Sep 7, 2011 10:07 AM

Thank you for answering and taking note of the problem.

I saw the single issue download (and have bought single .pdf issues in the past), but since it's full price anyway, I'll just get the paper copy when it shows up in my LYS. I really love that Tunesian Tee.

Fiber Lady wrote
on Sep 25, 2011 4:35 PM

I am impressed with this pattern and am looking forward to completing it after receiving my Fall 2011 Crochet issue.  I love working in Tunisian crochet.

swessel wrote
on Sep 26, 2011 3:39 PM

I bought this issue the minute I saw Betty's Tunisian Tee.  Little did I know I would be joining your online project when I opened up your website.  great minds think alike!

on Sep 27, 2011 8:19 PM

I am really excited to try this project. I love the way it looks.

My daughter would prefer a less plunging neckline. Is there

a way modify the neckline?


Bonnie :)

Toni Rexroat wrote
on Sep 28, 2011 10:01 AM

Hi Bonnie,

Yes, I believe that several of us on the Betty's Tunisian Tee crochet-along would like to raise the neckline to varying degrees. I have not decided which I will try, but you could either work a wider neckline edging or work a second entrelac edging on top of the first. I will blog about different options once we are a little farther into the crochet-along.

freshknit wrote
on Oct 5, 2011 3:46 AM

I am really impressed with  this work. I love it. Have a look at  http://freshknit.com/  for Fine Hand-Knitted and Hand-Finished Sweaters for Women.

dizzylena wrote
on Oct 26, 2011 2:23 PM

Hi Toni,

When I saw the pattern in the magazine I was excited to try my hand at this.  then I  read the above in one of my emails and got even more excited!  so I ran out and purchased my yarn, jumped right in and began.  I have worked on entrelac before so I get it. my base triangles are done. HOWEVER, I just can't seem to figure out tier 2-side diamond. not sure if I am picking up the stitches correctly & now I'm stuck. help!  any chance you'll be going in to more detail on this in the CAL?  

Toni Rexroat wrote
on Oct 27, 2011 11:22 AM

Hi Dizzylena,

Yes, I have a blog in progress to show how the side panels work. It should be up by this weekend. I was able to get the first side panel started and quite a bit of progress done yesterday. I was without power, so lots of crochet time!

lndyhpgrl wrote
on Oct 27, 2011 9:44 PM

I'm quite short and heavier in the hip than in the bust. I need the largest pattern size to fit the hip, but only the third for the bust.

If I make the largest pattern size to fit the hip, the top will be much too long for me.

I need to find a way to get the third size bust and length measurements but the widest point at the hip. I'm unsure how to do this given that I need to start with the widest point. I'm especially confused about how to make the garment shorter, since with the triangular construction it's not just a matter of omitting rows or rounds as I would normally do.

Any suggestions?

dctangles wrote
on Nov 6, 2011 6:37 AM

Do you need a Tunisian hook with a flexible extension to make this?

McZaf wrote
on Nov 27, 2014 11:16 PM

I am confused about the gauge for this project. It says 20 stitches is 4 inches in tks.

The foundation row for a small is 112 stitches. 112/20 = 5.6 * 4 = 22.4.

The first base triangle for a small size has 56 stitches. 56/20 = 2.8.  2.8 * 4 = 11.2.

I am getting that the size small has a  22.4 in bust size. not a 31.5 bust size.

Calculating backwards. 112 stitches devided buy 31.5 inches gives 3.55 stitches per inch or a gauge of approx 14 stitches per 4 inches.

Is there a gauge correction anywhere for this project.