It can be fun to collect little reminders of a visit to a famous tourist attraction or place. You can usually find them in those ubiquitous little shops and stalls that begin to appear as you approach the landmark – the ones hawking kooky fridge magnets, hand-crafted wooden statues, keyrings, mugs and the“I <3 THIS PLACE” T-shirts.
Or, you can do it the Samuel Barsky way. For 20 years, Sam has been making sweaters with recognized places on them, creating everything from Stonehenge, London's Tower Bridge, and the Niagara Falls in stylish long and short-sleeve knits. But that's only the half of it. In what is a particularly creative and wholesome excuse to travel, Sam has since been heading to the places depicted on his sweaters to pose in front of them with his matching outfit for a smiling selfie. Pretty cool huh?
Sam's crafty travels have earned him 100k followers on Facebook and Instagram, who enjoy his creative work and quirky, colorful styles. “I realized after knitting a few generic scenery sweaters and seeing a picture of London’s Tower Bridge in a magazine, which became inspiration, that anything could be a sweater,” he told Create Whimsy. With over 140 sweaters knitted so far, it seems like he's out to prove it!
Scroll down to see some of our favorite Samuel Barsky designs for yourself, and let us know what you think in the comments!
"Knitting (like I do) and travel go together very well," Sam told Bored Panda. "Since many of the sweaters I have knitted are of landmarks around the world, traveling gives me the opportunity to experience the very places I have depicted on my sweaters. I also get a chance to teach my knitting skills to others, give speeches about it, and meet fans wherever I go. In addition, traveling enables me to see sites that give me inspiration for more sweater ideas".
"The most challenging types of scenes to knit are urban scenes and bridges. Some of the challenging ones I have done are Times Square, Las Vegas, and the Mackinac Bridge, which was my most recent."
Portland Head Lighthouse
Sam started knitting in 1999 when he met the owners of a local yarn shop. "I asked them where you can learn to knit," he told us in an earlier interview.
"They offered to teach me for free under one condition - that I buy their yarn. I agreed. It was a dream come true after years of signing up for knitting classes that would always get canceled due to low enrollment. In the years that followed, I have knitted 106 sweaters featuring various nature scenes, landmarks, holidays, and more, all freehand without a graph. Each sweater has an interesting (long) story behind it."
Sam says he's had to overcome plenty of challenges to complete his sweaters, including traveling long distances to obtain yarn and rushing to knit them in time for a specific event. "At first, I didn't think anything of the idea of posing in front of the landmarks or objects they represent. But it seemed like the natural choice to wear them there. Before long, I had 10-15 such pictures. I realized this was a form of art of its own and I started making a conscious effort to create more pictures like these."
Keep scrolling to see more of our favorites, and check out Sam's website for more info!
M&t Bank Stadium - Current Temporary Picture Is At High School Football Field
The Gateway Arch
Cape May Lighthouse
Las Vegas Strip
Red Rock Canyon
Chautauqua Park, Boulder
London Bridge Arizona
Rocky Mountain National Park
Boulder Central Library
Note: this post originally had 35 images. It’s been shortened to the top 30 images based on user votes.