The INSIDER Summary:
• Sam Barsky and his landmark sweaters went viral.
• He makes them depending on upcoming travel plans, events, and whatever else catches his eye.
• He’s been making knitting artwork for nearly two decades.
This week, Sam Barsky went viral when the internet learned that he hand-knitted charming sweaters of landmarks — and then visited their real-life counterparts. The photos of him wearing those sweaters, combined with his endearing dedication to the project, made him an instant internet celebrity.
Barsky, who features his knitwork on a Facebook page, told INSIDER that he decides what to knit “based on where I’ll be travelling to next or what event is coming up soon.”
“Anything that crosses my eyes is a potential sweater,” Barsky wrote in an email.
This results in a variety of different kinds of knitwork. For a trip to Washington, DC, Barsky made sweaters of The White House and of Washington Monument. And for the holiday of Hanukkah (Barsky is Jewish), he knit a sweater depicting a menorah.
Barsky is a member of different knitting groups in the Baltimore area. He first learned to knit in 1999.
“I learned to knit from the owners of two local yarn shops,” Barsky wrote INSIDER in an email. “I knitted two solid coloured jumpers in my first year, then spent the next five months working on a jumper from a pattern.”
He wanted to knit something more challenging, and he’s since advanced his stitching skills.
“I thought about a jumper with a picture of a nature scene. But no pattern existed,” Barsky wrote. “As I tried to design it on graph paper, I realised I could knit the same without a graph. It was a success, and this has been my life ever since.”
It takes “about a month” to knit each sweater, so Barsky plans in advance. He’s working on two different projects right now: depictions of the California Raisins and Martin Luther King Jr.
“After that, I want to knit a jumper for Groundhog Day,” Barsky said. And he’ll keep on knitting after that.
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