I discovered Hey Paul Studios sometime ago, but this week was the first attempt I’ve made at following along with the #hastystitch inspiration challenge. It’s a really cool concept: each month, Hey Paul Studios posts a list of around four words that stitchers can use “as a springboard for creativity.” (I also love that description.) The list generally includes a couple of descriptive words and the names of a couple of different types of stitches. You can then post whatever you make to Instagram with the tag #hastystitch.

I’m going to commit to this challenge for the rest of the year, at least, because it’s such a great, low pressure way to learn new stitches and play around.

I grabbed a piece of felt–the color was my interpretation of  “lake”–and set to work at the oyster stitch, which is one I’d never tried before. I googled “oyster stitch,” and discovered that it is basically a rosette stitch inside of a lazy daisy stitch. Okay. Cool. I’ve done laisy daisies, no big deal. I’ve never attempted a rosette stitch. But how hard can it be, right?

Now this is the point at which I must give you a piece of advice that hopefully will save you much frustration. When trying to learn a new stitch, do not do random googling, do not search YouTube, do not pass Go, do not do ANYTHING before you have gone straight to the master herself, Mary Corbet. Mary Corbet’s stitch tutorials are by far the best on the web. Her clear instructions will not lead you astray.

For whatever reason, I had forgotten this bit of wisdom and just started reading a random explanation of the oyster stitch and then I tried to follow it even though it didn’t really make sense in my mind yet. Apparently, I was being hasty. See? Because “hasty”…nevermind. (I apologize. I’ve been missing the captive audience that is my classroom since school let out for the summer in early May. Generally, my students bear the brunt of my lame humor.)

oyster stitch practice

At some point, I decided that since the oyster stitch is really just a rosette stitch inside of a lazy daisy, it might behoove me to first learn the rosette stitch. Okay, so the rosette stitch starts with a twisted chain stitch…

oyster steps


Yes, looking good. Then you take your needle up through the right “leg” of the twisted chain stitch…

oyster process 2


And then you sprinkle some magic pixie unicorn dust glitter and do the hokey pokey, and…

oyster finish.jpg

Yeahhh, that’s not quite right either.

By this point, though, I was three episodes in to Season Two of House, I was pretty convinced I had vicariously contracted Cushing’s disease, or Lupus, or some sort of rare fungus, and Pritts had fallen asleep on the couch. It was time to give up. Only then did I remember the goddess whom we call Mary Corbet, navigate to her site, watch her video on the oyster stitch, and realize it would probably be easier to work on aida, at least until I get the hang of it.

So please let my inane flailings in stitchery serve as a lesson to you: Check out Hey Paul Studios, and then get yourself over to Mary Corbet to get schooled in exotic stitches before you start mucking about all willy-nilly! You’ll thank me; I promise. 😉

I’ll check back in with my new and improved oyster stitches when I get a chance. I’m giving myself the rest of June to sort them out.