The pysanka above is called «Верба» (“Verba,” willow) by Onyshchuk.  I am not sure if this is the original name, or one thought up by her; neither do I know from where she obtained this design.  I do know that the above pysanka is incorrectly colored, based on a “corrections” page in my pdf version of Onyshchuk’s book. Due printing problems, many of the colors in her tables were off; what appears to be orange in the pysanka above would correctly be yellow.

I’ve made the correction in the design sheet below; now I need to write a new pysanka for the photo above.

The motif itself is a version of the svarha/swastika, and ancient sun symbol.  The svarha is a cross in motion, and represents the passage of the sun across the sky.  The writing of pysanky was a part of spring rituals tied to Velykden, the “Big Day.” Since the holiday was tied to spring and the return of the sun, solar symbols were common.

Technical details: This is a nice simple pattern for beginners, although it requires a fair amount of accurate waxing in.  Use a medium stylus for outlines, heavy for waxing in.

The design utilizes three dyes: yellow, red and black.  This is a simple triangles division; the motifs should point round in a clockwise manner.

Download this pattern sheet:




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