Oyster stitch is a member of the chain stitch family and although it looks complex but it is not difficult. Oyster stitch is also very versatile as you can often adapt it to use in situations where you would use chain stitch. It creates a textured slightly raised stitch that is fun to work and adds variety to your hand embroidery. You can also work a beaded variety. I wrote a tutorial on Beaded oyster stitch here
Step by step instructions on how to do Oyster Stitch
You start Oyster stitch with a twisted chain stitch.
Commence by bringing the thread to the front of the fabric, insert the needle, take a bit of fabric with the tip pointed downwards. Wrap the needle as you would a twisted chain in other words cross the working thread over the needle, then wrap the thread under the needle.
Pull the needle through the fabric to create a twisted chain stitch. Pull your working thread snug, until the loop lies flat but not tight it pulls on the fabric.
Pass the needle under the right-hand top thread above the loop that has formed. Slide the needle through without picking up the foundation fabric.
Pull the thread through.
Insert the needle through the fabric at the top of the stitch, with the needle pointed downwards, slide it behind the knot, so that the needle exists the cloth at the base as illustrated.
Loop the thread under the needle (as you would for a chain stitch) and pull the needle through.
Repeat this process if you want to use the stitch as a linear stitch or you can use this stitch as you would a detached chain stitch.
It can be used as buds in floral motifs, or worked in a circle with the stitches pointing outwards to create flowers.
If you extend the last tie off stitch that secures the chain, to a long straight stitch you have another variety.
You can use these pointed towards the middle of circle or outwards to crate daisy and flower like motifs.
These samples were worked using a cotton perle #5 thread that is variegated.
Oyster stitch will follow a curve well as it is a member of the chain stitch family.
It has a highly textured appearance so sprinklings of this stitch in contemporary work produces a nobly relief particularly when worked in a thread with a good twist or a fine ribbon.
And of course it is great in crazy quilting
I hope you enjoy the stitch!