Sunday, June 5, 2022

A Semi-Local Yarn


I’ve become accustomed to seeing mentions of any number of events and celebrations related to Old Ellicott City’s 250th birthday. Here’s one that is not necessarily related, but I think it should be.

Here’s Baltimore-based knitter Sam Barsky modeling his Old Ellicott City sweater. This photo is taken from his Instagram account.

Once I saw this photo I just had to know more about Barsky. Basically, he makes sweaters of famous places or settings he’s interested in. I’m not a knitter, but the fact that he uses no patterns and has freehanded all these designs seems like an amazing feat to me. 

Over time he has become known for having his photograph taken in the very setting the sweater is based on. Take a look. A sampling of locations includes: Golden Gate Bridge. Times Square, Stonehenge, African Safari, Western Wall, Bahá'í gardens, Dead Sea, Ein Gedi, Niagara Falls, Eiffel Tower, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, Tower Bridge, Hollywood sign, Las Vegas Strip, and London Bridge (Lake Havasu City).*


Mr. Barsky has become quite well-known on social media. You can like his page on Facebook (18,000 followers) Twitter (570 followers) Instagram (114,000 followers) and TikTok (205,100 followers). Quite the reach for a basically self-taught knitter in Hamden.

It was probably this tweet that caught my eye:

It’s a photo of Barsky wearing a California Raisin sweater while holding a stuffed plush California Raisin. I probably clicked on it thinking that this fellow must be from Columbia and what a great local story it would be. While he isn’t from Columbia/HoCo he did create that Old Ellicott City Sweater shown above. And, look! He’s going to be giving a workshop and talk at SO Yarns on Dobbin in July:

Here’s the link to the event page on Facebook:

Wait. That photo on the left. Could that be an actual Columbia sweater? Photographed right here in town?

I hope you will find Sam Barsky’s story as fascinating as I have. If you want to learn more, and see more of his famous sweaters, I recommend his website: as a place to start. Also informative and lots of fun:

Barsky does not make sweaters to sell, but you can buy t-shirts made to be replicas of his creations. Hmm…I wonder if he’d fancy making a Chrysalis sweater? 

If you’re a knitter and decide to attend Barsky’s Columbia event, I’d love to know how it went.

*List from Wikipedia

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