Come learn a traditional Ukrainian embroidery technique with Auburn artist Nataliia Shynkarenko


Come to the Cayuga Museum’s Carriage House Theater to learn about the traditional Ukrainian embroidery form, “lyshtva,” from local artist Nataliia Shynkarenko. Lyshtva is a Ukrainian counted stitch embroidery technique that originated in the 19th century. It is an archaic Ukrainian word that, literally translated, means “trim around a door or window”, because of the elongated appearance of the stitches. Typically, stitches are worked from left to right in a form of a line, weaving around several threads of fabric. In the next row the pattern shifts by several threads, forming a geometric shape. As a result, the pattern looks almost identical on both sides. Visually it appears like a satin stitch, the difference being that lyshtva threads are counted.

Two workshops on Lyshtva Ukrainian embroidery will be open to both beginners and experienced crafters. They will primarily focus on the foundations of lyshtva embroidery, but additional Ukrainian embroidery stitches will be explored as well. The first project will involve creating an ornamental magnet, while the second will feature a holiday ornament. The scope of the hands-on activity will ensure that it is completely finished by the end of the session. The participants interested in expanding the acquired skills will be offered ideas and directed to online and printable resources. Both workshops have an admission rate of $15, with materials fully included, and will take place from 1-4 PM on their respective dates. Reservations are required as space and materials are limited. The ornamental magnet workshop will take place on Saturday, September 23 and the holiday ornament workshop will take place on Saturday, October 14.

After successful completion of workshops, a lecture on traditional Ukrainian embroidery techniques will be presented. The participants will learn more about the origins of lyshtva, its subsequent replacement by cross stitch, and modern-day rediscovery. Contextual information about other Ukrainian embroidery stitches will be visually presented along with explanation of pattern symbolism, and local geographical variability. A question-and-answer discussion after the lecture will provide the opportunity for the participants to share their thoughts about Ukrainian embroidery and its role in the lives of their families. They will be encouraged to demonstrate the artwork created at the workshops and describe their experience making it. Admission to the artist lecture is free with a $5 suggested donation, with reservations encouraged though not required. The lecture will begin at 1 PM on Saturday, October 28.

The workshops and artist lecture will take place in the Carriage House Theater. The Carriage House Theater is located at 203 Genesee St. (rear) in Auburn, NY. Parking is available in the lot adjacent to the theater just off Orchard Ave. and within the surrounding neighborhood. Learn more and make reservations at: or by calling 315-253-8051.

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