Have Sweater, Will Travel

A local artist parades his patterns around the world.

Lydia Woolever - August 2017

Have Sweater, Will Travel

A local artist parades his patterns around the world.

Lydia Woolever - August 2017


It’s not every day that a Baltimore artist becomes famous, especially when their medium is needle and yarn. But earlier this year, Sam Barsky woke up one morning to find that his sweaters—which he hand-knits with patterns that depict iconic places from around the world—had suddenly gone viral. Within a matter of minutes, everyone from NPR to Today wanted a piece of his thread. 

AugFP-SM11.jpg#asset:46676

AugFP-SM3.jpg#asset:46673

AugFP-SM1.jpg#asset:46671

From left: Patapsco State Park, Ellicott City; City skyline, Lombard Street; Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Baltimore.

⇓ Article continues below ⇓


The 42-year-old Pikesville resident not only makes short- and long-sleeved sweaters of landmarks like Times Square and the Golden Gate Bridge, but he actually travels to those locations and snaps a selfie while wearing the sweater that matches the site. Over the past 18 years, he has made 108 sweaters and visited 100 of his subjects, including Stonehenge in England, Niagara Falls in Canada, and the Western Wall in Israel. This month, he’s traveling to Nevada, where he’ll debut three brand-new knits—the Las Vegas Strip, the Hoover Dam, and Red Rock Canyon. “Anything that crosses my eye is a potential sweater,” he says.

AugFP-SM2.jpg#asset:46672

AugFP-SM8.jpg#asset:46675

AugFP-SM13-2.jpg#asset:46691

From left: The Light Rail, Howard Street; Marshy Point Nature Center, Middle River; Stonehenge, Salisbury, England.


As a longtime Baltimorean, he’s also captured local landmarks right here in his hometown—Camden Yards, the National Aquarium, the Light Rail—and his works have been displayed at the American Visionary Art Museum. Even with nearly 40,000 followers, he’s still proud to represent his city, and hopes to cover more of it using pops of color and thick strands of yarn. “The opportunities are endless,” he says. “I have so many ideas, I know I won’t get them all done in my lifetime.”

AugFP-SM18.jpg#asset:46679

AugFP-SM5.jpg#asset:46674

AugFP-SM16.jpg#asset:46678

From left: Watkins Regional Park, Upper Marlboro; Urban Pirates, Fells Point; Western Wall, Jerusalem, Israel.





You May Also Like


In Good Taste

Chefs Go Beyond the Restaurant For These Outdoor Dinners

Local cooks get outside to host inventive dinners from land to sea.

Travel & Outdoors

Smooth Sailing

Solar-powered pirate ships invade the Inner Harbor.

Health & Wellness

My Top Ten with Jessie Benson

The owner of paddle board fitness company B'more Sup shares her favorite things.


Home & Living

Making a Splash

Preserving the character of a historic Bay Ridge home that’s now perfect for gatherings.

Charmed Life

Check Out These Outdoor Fitness Classes Before Summer is Over

Work out on the Natty Boh roof or along the waterfront at these outdoor events.

Travel & Outdoors

Above Par

Local entrepreneurs are making a splash with waterfront golf.

Connect With Us

Most Read


Social Media Creates More Accessibility in the Art World: Platforms like Instagram provide all patrons a front row seat to art exhibits.

Where to Find the Best Co-Working Spaces in Baltimore: Find free parking, complimentary coffee, and even child care at these shared spaces around town.

Roberto Lugo Taps into Personal and Collective History in Work at The Walters Art Museum: The ceramic artist will present an interactive performance piece inside the Walters' new 1 West Mount Vernon Place.

Center Stage Names Stephanie Ybarra as New Artistic Director: With an interest in social justice and inclusivity, Ybarra will come to Baltimore from New York's Public Theater this fall.

Scalawags Pit Meat Brings Barrel-Smoked Barbecue to Local Pop-Ups: Gnocco general manager Sam White launches a pit beef project.