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Man Knits Sweaters Of Famous Landmarks And Wears Them At The Actual Places

I think it's safe to say we all have a bucket list of the places we want to travel to someday, whether it's five places or fifty. The world is just so big and it feels like we'd be doing it a disservice if we just stayed in one place forever.

But unfortunately, traveling costs money. A lot of money.

So for most of us, our wildest travel dreams will most likely wind up remaining just that — dreams. But one man is following his wanderlust-driven heart and is traveling the world to visit all of the greatest landmarks and destinations it has to offer. And, he's doing it in style.

Sam Barsky, 43, has spent the last 20 years knitting some seriously snazzy travel-inspired sweaters.

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According to Forbes, he began knitting back in 1999 after dropping out of nursing school and picking up a different kind of needle — two needles, to be exact. And all he needed to do now was learn.

"I had tried to learn [to knit] several times before and even tried teaching myself from a book but couldn't figure it out," he said.

A local yarn shop offered to teach him the craft. That is if he bought his yarn from them. The rest is history.

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After he finishes one sweater, he goes to the actual destination and proudly snaps a pic of himself wearing his cozy, homemade pullover.

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But that's not actually what he ever intended to happen when he started the hobby.

"The first sweater I made of a specific landmark was the Tower Bridge in London," Barsky said, admitting he was inspired by a magazine photo. But he didn't made the top intending to ever actually go visit the location in real life.

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However, after knitting a few more sweaters, he realized he knew he wanted to go to these places and proudly bare his creations.

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The first sweater he made with an actual trip in mind was Stonehenge, which turned out to be the first of more than 130 sweaters and trips to come.

Through his crafty travels, he's visited Niagara Falls, Venice, London, and Washington, D.C. At each and every destination, he's proudly posed for a commemorative picture while wearing that very same sweater.

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Of course, he can't exactly travel EVERYWHERE in the world just yet, but he's found some ways around that.

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His Eiffel Tower sweater was worn while he visited Las Vegas, and he snapped a picture in front of the significantly smaller but still relevant tower at the Paris Las Vegas Hotel & Casino. Same goes for the snap of him posing in front of the Great Pyramids.

But of course, once he can, he plans on actually making it to the real places to take some more legitimate pics.

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He's definitely been making his way around America and has stopped at plenty of noteworthy landmarks.

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He's knit sweaters of Rocky Mountain National Park, the Golden Gate Bridge, the Hollywood sign, and Red Rock Canyon, just to name a few. And each sweater culminated with a trip to the respective destination.

For the water locations, Barsky made sure to knit himself a tee-shirt rather than a sweater. It's also worth noting that each and every shirt is designed without a pattern by him, so if you couldn't already tell, this guy is seriously talented.

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It's not just famous places that he likes to honor with the art of knitting.

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For three years in a row, he's stitched himself a brand new Hanukkah sweater featuring glow-in-the-dark menorah candles and some festive dreidels at the hem.

He's also made sweaters honoring 9/11, military tanks, and amusement parks. Really, he makes just the most fascinating and detailed tops for all occasions and locations possible.

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His wife, Deborah, shares his travel bug but she's not exactly as good with the knitting needles as her husband.

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"I've tried to get her into it but she has no interest and I do not pressure her," Barsky said. "I have knit her some skirts, dresses, vets, and scarves."

He said each sweater takes him about a month to finish. His goal? To knit at least one sweater featuring each of the 50 states and a landmark.

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His colorful and elaborate creations have made him famous and he's turned this hobby into a full time job.

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He keeps his Instagram page regularly updated so his nearly 40,000 followers can enjoy his enormous collection of fanciful sweaters. He also sells merch on his website and sometimes teaches the craft at yarn stores.

To his fans, he's "The Sweater Guy", a title which he is definitely proud of.

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Of course, people have asked if Barsky would ever sell his wonderful creations, but he says he won't — for now.

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"I wish I could but I would become a human sweater mill," he said. "I am hoping to have the sweaters mass-produced someday, and to work with others with the technical skills to write patterns for my work."

For now though, he's perfectly content on staying totally independent.

“These days, I decide what to knit because of plans to travel someplace or attend some event relating to its theme, all with the anticipation of wearing it there," he said. "To me, the ultimate souvenir is the picture of me wearing my sweater in its matching location.”

h/t: Forbes

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