Ogalala (Oglala? Ogallala??) Blues

Hello, my wonderful beady friends. Last time I posted, I was giving an update on my Isolation Beading Challenge. I had almost everything done except for revisiting an unknown or unloved beading stitch.

I’m so close and I’ve been really motivated to find a stitch to revisit and bury the hatchet with. I wrote the challenge, so surely this part shouldn’t be too hard, right?


The issue that I’m running into is that I don’t really have any stitches that I hate?? I was unfamiliar with brick stitch, but I recently started taking some workshops from Wanda Pitzele and have become much more comfortable with it. I even made this full Brick Stitch Zigzag Cuff last year. So brick stitch is definitely not unloved or unknown any longer.

I used to also really struggle with peyote beaded bezels. I would do anything to avoid them, even developing my own Joystone bezel design that I could use instead. But back in 2018 I finally figured out what I was doing wrong (I was reinforcing the first loop, making it too tight for the rivoli) and went bonkers making bezels left and right. So, I think that one’s disqualified too.

I frequently use RAW, peyote, herringbone, square stitch, ladder stitch, St Petersburg, brick stitch, and netting. I’ve tried Peyote with a Twist and CRAW. I know spirals, (flat, Russian, double etc). I’ve played with chenille and chevron and Cellini and ropes of all kind. I was really, really stumped.

So I did a bunch of googling and remembered that I’ve never tried Ogalala (or butterfly) stitch! I mean, just look at these gorgeous necklaces for sale on Etsy! The depth of color and the ruffles – it’s SO outside my wheelhouse, but that’s what makes it fun and exciting. I love how they seem freeform, but actually have a specific netting structure and the ombre effect of the frills is just to die for.

But man, I struggled to find a tutorial! The only ones I could find that thoroughly explained the technique created finished products that weren’t as lovely as the photos above or were a slightly different technique all together. I found one tutorial in a foreign language that I tried to follow (after spending a LOOOONG time making a gradient that I liked), but I just wasn’t happy with how it was working up.

And I will mention that not knowing the proper spelling of the stitch does not help! Results pop up for “Oglala”, “Ogalala”, and even “Ogallala”, so I am just at a total loss. It’s hard to research a stitch when you don’t know how to spell it properly.

So, if any of you could point me in the direction of a book or a pattern that yields similar results as the finished pieces above, that would be lovely. But, for now, I think I might need to continue my search for an unknown/unloved stitch. There are so many stitches out there – I KNOW I haven’t tried them all. But most lists just list the basic ones and I’m pretty familiar with those.

Do you have any suggestions? Either for an Ogalala tutorial or for another stitch that might count as unknown? I’m stumped! Let me know if the comments if you can help save me from my own beading challenge, haha.

This entry was posted in Beading Techniques and Experiments, Challenges and Blog Hops, Thoughts on Color and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

13 Responses to Ogalala (Oglala? Ogallala??) Blues

  1. Allison Arts says:

    Oglala is the name of a tribe of Sioux Indians. There is a Native American bead workers group on Facebook. The members are incredible master bead workers. Some of the members have their work in museums. FB Group Name is Bead Talkers. They are a generous and kind group and I’m sure will be happy to answer your question.


  2. Doris says:

    It is actually a Native American stitch and is documented in Horace Goodhue’s book Indian Bead-Weaving Patterns (1971). He spells it Ogalala.

    I knew Horace – he lived here in Minnesota and I saw him at many beading events. He made it his mission in life to document all the native bead stitches he could. This one was taught to him by a Lakota woman.

    I have done several prototypes of designs using that stitch – but, sadly none of them have ever made as far as me writing up a pattern. I do love the stitch. Maybe that will have to be my Isolation beading challenge – to finialy write that pattern stitch.

    Doris Coghill / Dee’s Place, LLC / http://www.beadsbydee.com

    dcoghill@frontiernet.net 952-492-2493


    • samwescott says:

      Omg, thank you for the info! I had seen in my brief research that it was a Native stitch, but I found a lot of conflicting information, so I didn’t want to add that to the post in case I credited the wrong folks. I’ll have to look into this further!


  3. carright says:

    Here are some diagrams for Oglala that provide 3 variations. The last one looks like it might be very lacey and pretty.  Carol   


  4. Terri Patterson says:

    Jill Wiseman designs. She has a pattern and/or kit, I believe. I’ve done quite a few using her tut. It may be in one of her books, too.


  5. Pingback: Flirting with Fringe | Wescott Jewelry

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